Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced a reduction in the conditions for granting work holiday visas and seasonal foreign workers to meet the demand for labor in the agricultural sector.
"We have to make sure that a greater number of Australians get those jobs (…) but we also have to make sure that work is done," Morrison said, justifying the changes, which may affect travelers from Spain, Chile, Argentina or Peru.
The measures imply that the holders of visas 417 and 462, of labor vacations, will be able to remain in Australia until a maximum of three years as of mid-2019, instead of two, provided that they work six months in regional zones during their second year of stay
"We are going to extend the qualified areas as regional areas so that those with labor visas can extend them," said Morrison.
The changes also provide that the traveler with this type of visa can work for the same employer for one year, instead of the current six months, and raise the age limit to apply for these migratory permits from 30 to 35 years.
More than 200,000 travelers visited Australia during the 2017-18 fiscal year with this type of visa, most of them from the United Kingdom, Germany and France, according to official data.
According to the National Federation of Farmers, the local workforce is insufficient to cover the 100,000 seasonal jobs required by the sector, which substitutes the hiring of foreign workers.