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Are you eligible to join the PALM scheme?

Pacific worker on tractor

There are eligibility requirements for employers interested in recruiting unskilled, low-skilled, and semi-skilled workers from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste through the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

A majority of current Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) employers can choose to be mutually recognised under both programs, providing they meet the required eligibility criteria.

For more information, please read the mutual recognition FAQs: Frequently asked questions on mutual recognition [PDF 203 KB] | Frequently asked questions on mutual recognition [DOCX 214 KB].


What you need to become a PALM scheme employer

You need to answer 'yes' to the following questions:

  • Is your business registered and operating in Australia, with an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN)? Entities must be incorporated in Australia or be an incorporated limited partnership. Sole traders are not eligible to become Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme employers.  
  • If your business operates on a labour hire and/or contractor business model, does it have 5 years of continuous operation?
  • Does your business have, or can it obtain, a labour hire licence as applicable? 
  • Is your business an ‘organisation’ for the purposes of the Migration Regulations 1994?
  • Does your business have good immigration practices and a history of compliance with immigration legislation?
  • Does your business have a history of compliance with Australian workplace relations, work health and safety legislation and other laws, and can you also demonstrate that its directors, partners or trustees have a history of compliance with the above laws?
  • Is your business in a sound financial position and can it demonstrate at least 3 years of financial solvency? Applicants whose primary business is that of a grower, may seek an exemption to demonstrate they or a related business entity have an established business history.
Roslyn Avock from Vanuatu

To become a PALM scheme employer you also need to consider these questions:  

  • Does your business have labour requirements that cannot be met by Australian workers?
  • Does your business have established employment and workplace policies and procedures?
  • Does your business understand the welfare and accommodation requirements and have capacity to provide this support to workers? Please refer to the worker support page for more information about these requirements.

Where in Australia are you based?

To be eligible for the SWP, you can be based in any location in Australia for the agriculture sector. As previously for the accommodation sector you can be based in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Tropical North Queensland and Kangaroo Island. This has been expanded to employment in other regional and rural areas throughout Australia.

Eligibility for employers seeking to recruit through the PLS and SWP is based on rural and regional postcodes, except for employers in the agriculture sector, where there are no postcode restrictions.

Eligible postcodes for the PLS and SWP (all sectors except agriculture)

Australian Capital Territory

All postcodes in the Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales (excluding Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong)

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

Norfolk Island

All postcodes in Norfolk Island

Northern Territory

All postcodes in the Northern Territory


4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899

South Australia

All postcodes in South Australia


All postcodes in Tasmania

Victoria (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

Western Australia (excluding the Perth metropolitan area for the PLS only)

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

Apply to become a PALM scheme employer

If you have checked your eligibility and want to become a PALM scheme approved employer you can fill out an online application form.

You can also read an information-only version of the form before you start: Information-only PALM scheme application form [PDF 616 KB] | Information-only PALM scheme application form [DOCX 148 KB].