Seasonal Worker Programme

Seasonal Worker Program logo

The Australian Government’s Seasonal Worker Programme assists employers in the agriculture and accommodation sectors to fill employment gaps unable to be met by the Australian workforce. It also contributes to the economic development of seasonal workers from nine participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.

Seasonal Worker Programme overview

The Seasonal Worker Programme offers employers in the agriculture sector and employers in selected locations in the accommodation sector access to a reliable, returning workforce when there is not enough local Australian labour to meet seasonal demand.

Seasonal workers benefit from the opportunity to earn Australian wages and gain valuable on-the-job learning opportunities. Many seasonal workers use the money earned in Australia to pay for their kids’ education, start a small business or build a house. For the workers and their families, this is a life changing opportunity.

Seasonal Worker Programme Regional Pilot

A 12-month pilot is under way in the Goulburn/Murray (VIC), Riverina (NSW) and Sunraysia (NSW/VIC) regions to improve smaller famers' access to seasonal workers to meet harvest requirements.  The pilot ends on 30 April 2020.

See the Regional Pilot factsheet for further information.

Seasonal Worker Programme Pilot Guidance is for Approved Employers participating in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) Regional Pilot.

Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme

The Australian Government’s Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme, complements the Seasonal Worker Programme. It helps meet business needs across all sectors in rural and regional Australia. For further information, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website.

Further information

For further information about the Seasonal Worker Programme, contact us via:


Information Line: +61 (02) 6240 5234 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, Canberra time)

For more information on Australia’s skilled visas visit the Department of Home Affairs website.


The following is a list of all the news items that are associated with Seasonal Worker Programme.

FOR FURTHER CONSULTATION – Draft Copy of the SWP Deed of Agreement and Draft Guidelines released for feedback

News | 18 September 2019

Australian Government to provide more support for farmers and regional economies

News | 6 November 2018

Helping farmers while boosting economies in our region

News | 12 April 2018

Taire Kabotau is one of over 100 Kiribatis who come to Australia each year to participate in our Seasonal Worker Programme.

Prime Minister announces measures to increase access to the Seasonal Worker Programme

News | 12 September 2017

New measures to increase access to the Seasonal Worker Programme for employers and seasonal workers have been announced by the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP at the Pacific Islands Forum in Apia, Samoa.

Australian Government Response to 'Seasonal change' report tabled

News | 16 February 2017

Australian Government expands the Seasonal Worker Programme further into the agricultural sector

News | 8 February 2016

On 8 February 2016, the Australian Government announced further expansion of the Seasonal Worker Programme, from primarily horticulture to the broader agricultural sector. Employers in a range of agriculture industries including cattle, sheep, grain and mixed enterprises will now be able to...