International border reopening expected to ease labour shortage on farms

The reopening of the international border is expected to boost the agricultural workforce and rural and regional businesses as eligible visa holders no longer require a travel exemption to visit Australia

From today eligible visa holders who are fully vaccinated will no longer require a travel exemption from the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force to travel to Australia.

This change will give farmers more access the workers they need from a range of visa programs, many of which they have not been able to access easily during the pandemic when travel and international border restrictions were in place.

Eligible visas include Working Holiday Makers and many specific skilled visa subclasses used by the agriculture sector.

The pandemic raised many challenges for our agricultural industries and the opening of our international borders provides an uplift in optimism for our farmers going forward

Farmers have been innovative in how they have dealt with worker shortages during COVID-19 but the return of visa holders will come as a welcome relief for many farmers and rural communities.

Quarantine will continue to be a barrier for the arrival of visa holders in some states and territories where quarantine requirements are still in place for fully vaccinated travellers.

Further information on eligible visa holders is available on the Department of Home Affairs webpage at:

Who will be allowed in:

·         Eligible visa subclasses include

  • Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa
  • Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa
  • Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme streams and Australian Agriculture Visa stream)
  • Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa
  • Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 400 -Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa.

·         Travellers to Australia must still comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territory of their arrival and any other state or territory to which they plan to travel.