Need staff for your horticulture business?

Since 1 January 2020, businesses in Australia’s horticulture industry can access the Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement. This agreement can help horticulture businesses to secure skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers where an appropriate Australian employee is not available.

The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement can be used by Australian employers for the following:

  • Sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa for a total of 31 approved occupations.
  • Sponsor overseas workers for permanent residency under the:
    • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (subclass 494) visa program with a permanent pathway to a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) available after three years; or
    • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program after a three or four year transitional period on a TSS visa—three years for approved Skill Level 1-3 occupations and four years for approved Skill Level 4-5 occupations.

The following concessions may be available when using the horticulture industry labour agreement:

  • Discount of up to 10% on the Temporary Skill Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) where it is demonstrated that equivalent Australian workers do not receive annual earnings of $53,900.
  • A broader range of monetary payments (e.g. regularised overtime) and non-monetary benefits (e.g. accommodation) can be counted as guaranteed earnings.
  • For the TSS visa—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.0 i each individual component score. For the ENS and SESR visas—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.5 in each individual component score.
  • Overseas workers can be up to 50 years of age when they apply for an ENS or SESR visa.

Source: Department of Home Affairs

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