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Mar 29, 2022 / 15:46

Vietnam joins Australia's new visa program for agricultural workers

Around 1,000 Vietnamese workers will be allowed to go to Australia to work in the agricultural sector each year.

Vietnam becomes the first country to join the new Australian Agricultural Visa Program after the two countries signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on March 28.

The MoU, signed by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) of Vietnam and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is aimed at supporting Vietnamese citizens to participate in the Australian Agriculture Visa Program, which seeks to fill workplace shortages in the sector.


Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung signs the Memorandum of Understanding. Photo: MoLISA

Accordingly, around 1,000 Vietnamese workers will be allowed to go to Australia to work in the agricultural sector each year.

The basic salary (excluding living expenses) for such an employee will be from about VND52.8 million to 66 million per month, which is a high level of income compared to other labor receiving markets.

The new visa program has been offered to residents from countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) after months of delays.

At the signing ceremony, Vietnamese labor minister Dao Ngoc Dung emphasized the deal is an important milestone in the cooperation relations between the two countries.

“The signing of the MoU will promote the strategic cooperation relationship between Vietnam and Australia in the context of deepening international cooperation and integration; is an effective job creation channel which not only brings economic benefits but also contributes to ensuring sustainable social security,” Dung said.

He also expects the MoU will create a legal framework that facilitates the entry of Vietnamese citizens into Australia to work in the agricultural sector.

“Labor cooperation with Australia not only helps to ensure Vietnamese workers will have good income and secure working conditions but also provides them an opportunity to learn advanced knowledge, skills, science and technology. Besides, the program responds to Australia's workforce needs, thus benefiting both countries,” the minister noted.

 Vietnamese labor minister Dao Ngoc Dung and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne represented the two countries’ governments in signing the MoU. Photo: MoLISA

For her part, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said her government looks forward to the continued contributions the Vietnamese make to Australia.

Vietnam’s participation in this program strengthens and extends the already rich people-to-people links the two countries share, Marise Payne said, adding that it also demonstrates the government’s commitment to deepening cooperation under the Australia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership.

There are many workers from Vietnam already in Australian agriculture who are highly regarded for their work ethic and attention to detail, Marise Payne stressed.

Australia has a developed economy, with modern agriculture. In September 2021, the Australian Government announced a visa program for workers in the agricultural sector and selected Vietnam, together with Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, as priority countries to participate in this program.

The Australian Agriculture Visa program is intended to provide a sustainable, long-term contribution to Australia’s labor supply that supports Australia’s agricultural and primary industry sectors.

Under the Australian Agriculture Visa program, employees will be recruited from overseas to work across a range of sectors within agriculture, including horticulture, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries and forestry.