Visa changes in Australia affect Farm, Sports and Arts sectors -11th March, 2019

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The federal government has announced new requirements for several visas. The aim here is to provide an easy access to farmers towards overseas workers and also to give a better workforce in regional areas.

Easy rules

The visa rules were relaxed to make the hiring of skilled seasonal workers easy for the farmers. Sponsored sportspersons, as well as artists, will also get new eight-year visas. Moreover, these Updates to the list of skilled occupations come after the recent changes to the Seasonal Worker and Working Holiday Visa Programs. David Coleman Immigration Minister stated that the government seeks Australians to fill the jobs. In case this is not possible measures are necessary for the continuity of operations of farmers. The professions of Footballers and tennis coaches were also added to the long-term skills list. The changes reflect the passion for sports and the arts in Australia.

Additionally, when there is access to top skilled professionals it leads to the development of local talent. Moreover, it facilitates the transfer of skills and knowledge.

Addressing the skill shortages

Presently, the government struggles with skill shortages in the regional areas and Dentists and anesthetists can now obtain working visas easily.

The agricultural sector had made a demand for a specific visa exclusively for farm workers. Richard Colbeck, the Assistant Agriculture Minister stated that it was not necessary for the present. PM Scott Morrison made a commitment last year regarding the Agriculture Visa in the medium to long-term. A Labor spokesman stated that the government needs to give a priority to the training of local workers. More and more occupations moved to the skilled occupation lists when the Liberals are in power. Additionally, there is with no guarantee of overlooking the local workers for overseas workers on 457-style visas.

The future

Labor has promised to introduce a new Australian Skills Authority for conducting labor market testing independently for determining the genuine skill requirements. Also, there was a need to restrict temporary work visas in those areas.

Under other new visa requirements starting on 11th March, doctors trained in a foreign country intending to work in the capacity of general practitioners will have to work not in metropolitan areas but in regional and rural communities. Health bureaucrats are cooperating with the Home Affairs Department for implementing the visa requirements.

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