The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and the NSW Farmers Association will work together at this year’s AgQuip field days to raise awareness about the benefits of the skilled migration program for the agricultural sector.
Departmental officers will share space within NSW Farmers’ site during the annual three-day event in Gunnedah from August 17-19, where they will conduct face-to-face meetings with local business people.
A departmental spokesman said some businesses in regional communities can experience difficulty finding local skilled workers and they may want to consider sponsoring suitably qualified employees from overseas.
“Our officers will be able to answer a variety of questions about the skilled migration program, including changes that came into effect in September 2009, such as market salary rates, health insurance, training requirements and employer obligations,” the spokesman said.
“We encourage local people who may be interested in finding out more and who are visiting AgQuip this year to contact the department to make an appointment during their field days visit.”
The spokesman said it was also important for people in regional communities to understand the rules regarding hiring foreign workers, which include penalties of up to $66,000 per employee for hiring illegal workers.
The spokesman said officers at the AgQuip event would also be able to provide general information about applying for other Australian visas or how migrants residing in Australia can obtain Australian citizenship.