Work in Queensland

Work in Queensland

Information for temporary visa holders and seasonal workers in agribusiness and fisheries

Everyone living in or entering Queensland has a general obligation to help keep themselves, their neighbours and their community as safe as possible from coronavirus (COVID-19). You must follow Queensland’s public health directions for COVID-19 if you wish to work in Queensland.

You must observe the latest travel and health advice from the Australian Government, and visa information.

Looking for work

A range of seasonal work opportunities are available in Queensland’s agriculture and seafood processing industry for temporary visa holders and seasonal agricultural workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these opportunities will be located in regional areas across Queensland.

Job matching services through Jobs Finder Queensland and Harvest Trail provide important services to connect seasonal and local job seekers with agricultural work while limiting unnecessary travel.

Harvest work is seasonal and includes many different jobs like picking fruit and vegetables, working in packing sheds, canneries and other processing plants or factories, or pruning and planting. Find more information about Harvest work opportunities in Queensland.

Workers coming from out of state must comply with Queensland’s state border closures, travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge you to stay up-to-date on health advice.

As of midday 3 July 2020, any persons travelling into Queensland, including returning Queensland residents, who have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot within the past 14 days will be required to quarantine at a nominated premises as directed by a public health officer at their own expense for 14 days. Currently the entire state of Victoria is a declared hotspot.

Employers will be required to undertake daily checks of their employees to determine the presence/absence of COVID-19 symptoms.

Your employer is also required to have submitted a health management plan.

Check out these tips for applying for seasonal agricultural work .

Moving between jobs

If you are already in Queensland, you must secure employment before you move into a new area. If you are looking for seasonal agricultural work, it is very important that you do not just show up to a farm. A better way is to register your availability at Harvest Trail. You can also phone the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332.

Find out more information about travelling into and within Queensland for work.

Where to stay

Before travelling to Queensland for work you must find employment and accommodation.

If you can’t find accommodation, you may not be able to take up the employment. Talk to your employer to see if there is anything they can do to assist you to find accommodation.

Find out more information on the best places for workers to look for accommodation in Queensland , and the requirements that accommodation providers must follow to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among their guests and the community. You will need to provide a record of the locations you visited and accommodation details for the 14 days prior to accessing the accommodation.

Overnight stays

When travelling into Queensland, you will need to secure overnight accommodation before you start your journey and provide evidence of this at the border.  For further information regarding crossing the border please refer to “Travelling into and within Queensland”.

National park campgrounds in Queensland are currently closed and staying overnight in public areas, such as carparks, parks, beachfronts and riversides, is not permitted.

Remember to always stay with accommodation providers, such as caravan parks, hostels, backpacker providers and hotels.

Find out more information on where to stay when travelling into and within Queensland.

International students

If you hold a student visa, you must follow the same guidelines as other non-permanent residents for accommodation, transport and confirmation of work.

Travelling into and within Queensland

As of midday 3 July 2020, any persons travelling into Queensland, including returning Queensland residents, who have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot within the past 14 days will be required to quarantine at a nominated premises as directed by a public health officer at their own expense for 14 days. Currently the entire state of Victoria is a declared hotspot.

If you want to work in agribusiness or commercial fishing in Queensland during COVID-19, you must:

  • observe the latest travel and health advice from the Australian Government and stay up to date on border closures and visa information
  • comply with Queensland’s state border closures, travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic - we urge you to stay up-to-date on health advice
  • not travel to Queensland without first obtaining employment and ensuring you have appropriate accommodation.
  • provide a record of your previous work and residence in the last 14 days.

If you are currently interstate, to enter Queensland to begin work you will require the following documentation:

  • a completed Queensland border pass
  • a letter/email your employer proving that you have secured work, including your start date and period of employment
  • accommodation details proving you have accommodation organised in Queensland
  • a record of your work and residence in the last 14 days – this may include a letter, accommodation receipts, payslips, a statutory declaration, transaction receipts demonstrating 14 consecutive days outside a COVID-19 hotspot.

Additional restrictions are in place for entry to remote communities in Queensland.

View the latest information about border restrictions.

How to apply for visa extension

If you are in Australia on a visa, youmust apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. You may be​​​ eligible to be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application. See what you need to do to stay longer.

Temporary visa holders, who are eligible to seek employment with an agribusiness or commercial fishing operator, include:

  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) Pacific Labour scheme stream.
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) Seasonal Worker Program stream.
  • Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa
  • Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa
  • Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream.

Some services relating to the visa application process​ may be impacted by COVID-19.

Health advice and requirements

Quarantine

If you have secured employment in agribusiness or commercial fishing in Queensland, are entering Queensland from interstate or overseas, and you have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot at any time within the last 14 days, you are required to quarantine at a nominated place at your own expense for 14 days prior to commencing work. Currently the entire state of Victoria is a declared COVID-19 hotspot.

Quarantine means staying in your hotel room and not going to public places or accepting visitors even if you do not feel sick.

You will also be required to quarantine if you think you have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, have had COVID-19 or have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

If you are suspected to have breached your quarantine this may result in your visa being cancelled, receiving fines of up to $13,345 and other penalties.

If you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath you should contact a doctor or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Find more information about quarantine requirements.

At work and in the community

Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of COVID-19. When at work and in the community you should keep 1.5 metres away from others as much as possible.

You should also:

  • stay home if you are sick
  • wash hands regularly
  • avoid gatherings that aren’t essential.

Visit Queensland Health for the latest health information and instructions. 

Join the Australian Government WhatsApp group for the latest news and advice.

Workplace health and safety

For employers still able to trade, they must implement appropriate controls to manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Three key things that employers must do include:

  • maintain good hygiene and cleanliness of the workplace
  • implement physical distancing – keeping everyone at the workplace at least 1.5 metres physically apart
  • use protective personal equipment (PPE) appropriately – where necessary.

Before an agribusiness, seafood processor or labour hire firm employs temporary visa holders and seasonal agriculture workers they must submit a health management plan.

Compliance for temporary visa holders

The continued breaching of COVID-19 health directives may result in your visa being cancelled.

Referrals for visa non-compliance are to be reported to the Queensland Police Service (QPS). The QPS can issue on-the-spot fines of $1,334 for individuals for failing to abide by the health directives. If a person does not comply with quarantine directions, penalties of up to $13,345 for individuals may apply.

Report suspicious activity to the QPS

Any community member can make an online report of suspected illegal or criminal immigration, visa, customs and trade activity to the Department of Home Affairs through Border Watch.

Last updated:
3 July 2020