Visa changes affect farms, sports and arts

Visa changes affect farms, sports and arts


Politics
New four-year visas will help fix a shortage of workers in the farming sector, the government says.

New four-year visas will help fix a shortage of workers in the farming sector, the government says.

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Updates to the country's list of skilled occupations follow recent changes to the working holiday maker and seasonal worker visa programs.

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Australia's visa rules have been relaxed to make it easier for farmers to hire skilled seasonal workers.

Sponsored sportspeople and artists will also be able to get new eight-year visas.

Updates to the country's list of skilled occupations follow recent changes to the working holiday maker and seasonal worker visa programs.

"We want Australians filling Australian jobs but when this isn't possible action is needed to ensure farmers can continue to operate," Immigration Minister David Coleman said on Monday.

Footballers and tennis coaches are among eight professions in the sports and arts sectors added to the long-term skills list.

"These changes recognise Australia's passion for sports and the arts," Mr Coleman said.

"Having access to highly skilled professionals helps to develop local talent and facilitate skills and knowledge transfer."

Dentists and anaesthetists will also be able to obtain working visas more easily, as the government grapples with skill shortages in regional communities.

The agricultural sector, including the National Farmers' Federation, has been calling for a specific visa for farm workers but assistant agriculture minister Richard Colbeck last week said it wasn't needed given changes already in train.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year committed to an agriculture visa in the medium to long-term after a failed push from the Nationals to get the proposal in place before harvest time.

Under other new visa requirements starting on Monday, overseas-trained doctors wanting to work as general practitioners will be directed away from metropolitan areas to regional, rural and remote communities.

Health bureaucrats are working with the Department of Home Affairs to implement the visa requirements.

Australian Associated Press

The story Visa changes affect farms, sports and arts first appeared on Farm Online.

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