There may be more foreign backpackers on their way to Australia, because the government is considering letting Mexicans and Indians go on working holiday visualities
- The government proposes a further extension of the visa program for working holiday makers
- Looking to extend the scheme to 13 additional countries such as India and Mexico
- The proposed changes are in addition to the recent extension of the visa program
- Further expansion carefully supported by Australia's leading farm lobby group
More foreign backpackers could work Down Under on farms with a proposed extension of the visa program for working holiday makers in Australia.
The federal government is discussing extending the scheme to working holiday makers from 13 additional countries to alleviate labor shortages on farms in regional Australia.
The proposal to welcome backpackers from countries such as Mexico, India, the Philippines, Switzerland, Fiji and Croatia was carefully supported by Australia's leading agricultural lobby group.
The proposed changes come on top of a recent extension of WHM visa program which came into force on July 1.
The federal government hopes to attract more overseas backpackers from countries like India and Mexcio to Australia to work on farms like this NSW orchard (stock image)
Greece and Ecuador have recently been added to the WHM program to expand the current number of participating countries to 44.
Existing travelers in the scheme have also been given the option to stay for a third year if they work in the regions where work is most needed.
The office of Immigration Minister David Coleman confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that it is in discussion about adding another 13 countries to the WHM visa program.
& # 39; Recent improvements to the visa program for working holiday makers are designed to resolve labor shortages in regional areas, especially on our farms, & # 39; said Mr. Coleman in a statement.
& # 39; We know that working holiday makers travel further to regional areas than most other international visitors. They also spend considerable amounts, stimulating regional economies. & # 39;
Countries that are the target of a new visa extension proposal
Source: Department of the Interior
The National Farmers & # 39; Federation welcomes measures to tackle agricultural labor shortages, but describes the government's proposal as & # 39;far from a perfect solution & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Although we again welcome these and other changes made by the government last year and earlier this year to working with farm visa regimes, for example changes to the seasonal worker program and skilled migration, we are still awaiting public statements that it works to an ag visa, & # 39; workplace relationship manager Ben Rogers told the ABC.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the National Farmers & # 39; Federation for further comments.
The recently proposed and implemented changes come after Australian Inc. recently released a series of online video ads on international markets with Australia & # 39; the best workplace in the world & # 39 ;.
Australia's outback and farming communities are promoted worldwide in tourism advertisements, including a livestock station.
A video released in international markets where Australia & # 39; the best workplace in the world & # 39; is being promoted by an Australian livestock farm
The minister overturned suggestions that a comprehensive scheme could be targeted at low-skilled migrant workers.
& # 39; Work and vacation applicants must meet the minimum requirements before a visa can be issued, including a functional level of English, and they must hold or study in the direction of tertiary qualifications, & # 39; Coleman said.
But not everyone has welcomed the extension of the WHM scheme.
The visa program for working holidaymakers in Australia could soon be expanded from 44 countries to 57, which, according to the federal government, will benefit agriculture and regional communities
University of Adelaide associate professor Joanna Howe found shortcomings in the arrangement while writing a report on migrants in the horticultural sector.
"The link to stay further in the execution of the work – there are real risks in expanding the scheme, both in terms of exploitation … and industry, in terms of the sustainability of labor supply," she said at the ABC.
Recent changes to WHM visas
* Working holidaymakers who have completed at least six months of regional employment in their second year may be eligible for a third year visa. The 6 months of work must all be carried out on or after July 1, 2019, with applications that can be submitted from January 2020.
* Extension of the period in which a WHM (subclass 417 and 462) can work with the same agricultural employer, from six to 12 months.
* Increasing the number of places available for travelers from, Spain (1,500 to 3,400), Israel (500 to 2,500), Peru (100 to 1,500), Chile (2,000 to 3,400), Argentina (from 1,500 to 2,450), Malaysia (100 to 1,100), Singapore (from 500 to 2,500) and Portugal (200 to 500).
* Greece (500 places) and Ecuador (100 new places) added to the WHM visa program, bringing the total number of eligible countries to 44.
* The maximum eligible age for French applicants has been raised to 35 years.
Source: Department of the Interior
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