The Pacific Labour Scheme allows workers from Pacific island countries to work in low and semi-skilled jobs in rural and regional Australia.

Through the PALM scheme, employers can access both seasonal workers (up to 9 months) and longer-term workers (between one and 4 years) through a single application.

Do you qualify for a visa?

Pacific Labour Scheme

The Pacific Labour Scheme helps to address worker shortages in in low and semi-skilled roles in rural and regional areas of Australia. Currently employers can recruit workers from:

  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Timor-Leste
  • Fiji
  • Vanuatu
  • Samoa
  • Tonga

Visa eligibility

To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Be between the age of 21 and 44.
  • Hole a passport from one of the specified Pacific Islands.
  • You must be supported by DFAT to participate in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.
  • Have a sponsor the meets the requirements and is approved as a temporary activities sponsor.
  • Meet the health and character requirements.
  • Have adequate health cover for the duration of your stay in Australia.
  • Only want to stay in Australia on a temporary basis.
  • Meet seasonal workers tax obligations.
  • Have not had a previous application refused or a visa cancelled in the past.

Sponsor eligibility

How to become a PALM scheme employer

  • Be based and operating a business in Australia.
  • Be in a rural or regional part of Australia.
  • Need non-seasonal labour in jobs they have not been able to fill with Australian workers.
  • Have an Australian Company Number or Australian Business Number.
  • Demonstrate at least three years of financials.
  • Have a history of complying with fair work and immigration requirements.
  •  Have employment and workplace procedures and policies in place.
  • Evidence that you have been unable to recruit Australian workers (Labour market testing)

Where is your Australian business based?

Eligibility for employers seeking to recruit through the PALM scheme is based on rural and regional postcodes, except for employers in the agriculture sector.

Eligible postcodes for all sectors for the PLS and SWP (for agriculture sector employers all postcodes in Australia are eligible).

1Australian Capital Territory

All postcodes in the Australian Capital Territory

2New South Wales (excluding Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong metropolitan areas)

2250 to 2251, 2256 to 2263, 2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2415, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to

2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, 2787 to 2898

3Norfolk Island

All postcodes in Norfolk Island

4Queensland (excluding Brisbane and Gold Coast metropolitan areas)

4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285,

4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899

5South Australia

All postcodes in South Australia


All postcodes in Tasmania

7Victoria (excluding the Melbourne metropolitan area)

3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749,3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3816 to 3909, 3921 to 3925, 3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996

8Western Australia (excluding the Perth metropolitan area)

6041 to 6044, 6083 to 6084, 6121 to 6126, 6161, 6200 to 6799

Which sectors are covered by the PALM scheme:

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Meat processing
  • Care/aged care
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Light manufacturing
  • Forestry

What work can seasonal workers undertake in the accommodation sector?

  • Bar attendants
  • Baristas
  • Food and beverage attendants/waiters
  • Café workers
  • Garden labourers
  • Housekeepers
  • Kitchen hands
  • Public area cleaners

Visa costs and processing times

The cost of the subclass 403 visa for temporary work internationally is $AU315.

Processing times are usually between eight and 12 days as long as you submit all the necessary information at the time of lodging your application.

Additional costs apply for Standard Business sponsorship applications and PALM Scheme endorsements.

How can Direct Migration Experts help?

At Direct Migration Experts our goal is to make it easy for employers to connect with international talent for business critical roles.

We help with the full migration process, including your standard business sponsorship for onshore and offshore talent, Endorsement application and Australia Visa Process.

Our team will provide you with all the information and support you need to make your application as an Australian business sponsor stress-free!

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