Australian Embassy

Changes to Seasonal Worker Program

Changes to Seasonal Worker Program

20 March 2015

The Australian Government has announced changes to the Seasonal Worker Program that will benefit both Australian farmers and businesses, and workers from Timor-Leste and the Pacific.

Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Peter Doyle has welcomed the changes “The Seasonal Worker Program presents a great opportunity for Timorese men and women to work in Australia, with workers gaining employment valuable experience, skills and income.”

Due to high demand for employees in the agriculture sector and difficulties filling positions with Australian workers, the Australian Government has increased access for overseas workers by removing the placement limits previously placed on some sectors.

These changes will allow Australian businesses to better meet the demand for seasonal workers, while also providing valuable economic opportunities for more workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

Total places under the program will increase from 3250 in 2014-15 to 4250 in 2015-16. Since Timor-Leste joined the Seasonal Worker Program in 2012, more than 200 Timorese workers have participated.

Workers remit around $5000 for a six-month job placement under the Program - far greater than average wages in most participating countries. This brings great social and economic benefits for individuals, their families and communities.

Men and women aged from 21 are eligible for the scheme. They need to have completed high school, speak English, and be able and willing to work hard. For more information on the program in Timor-Leste, contact SEPFOPE.

Seasonal Workers prepare to leave for Australia. Photo credit: Australian Embassy


Representative from Australian Embassy in Dili presents caps to new Seasonal Workers as they prepare to leave for Australia. Photo credit: Australian Embassy