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The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme is a demand-driven program that allows Australian employers to hire workers from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste when there are not enough local workers available.

Once approved to recruit workers under the PALM scheme, employers can access workers to fill unskilled, low-skilled, or semi-skilled positions for seasonal jobs (up to 9 months) or for jobs between one and 4 years.

PALM scheme employers in the agriculture sector can be based anywhere in Australia, while for all other sectors employers must be based in a rural or regional location. All PALM scheme employers must undertake labour market testing to ensure Australians have priority for local jobs.

Protecting the rights and wellbeing of all workers

An important part of the PALM scheme recruitment process is demonstrating you can provide adequate support and appropriate living and working conditions for workers.

All Pacific and Timor-Leste workers participating in the PALM scheme are entitled to the same protections and have the same workplace rights as Australian workers.

Learn more about how to best support your workers.

  • Strawberry picker
  • Approvals stage

    • Step 01.

      AE completes the recruitment application at least 8 weeks prior to mobilisation including the submission of labour market testing and accommodation forms.

    • Step 02.

      LSU considers recruitment application or seeks further information.

      DEWR/PLF assess recruitment application for approval.

      AE works with LSU to identify recruitment needs.

    • Step 03.

      DEWR/PLF provides PALM recruitment approval number for recruitment application (single endorsement number). Approval to recruit is also sent to the LSU.

    • Step 04.

      AE undertakes recruitment selection process. 

      AE/LSU confirm mobilisation date (minimum 5 weeks).

      AE conducts interviews and completes selection process.

      AE provides OOEs to LSU for selected candidates and commences travel arrangements.
  • Mobilisation stage


    • Step 05.

      LSU arranges information sessions for workers and their families.

      AE explains OOEs to workers.

      WORKERS sign their OOEs.

    • Step 06.

      LSU collects required documents (signed OOE, colour passport bio page, signed privacy and consent form, 956a form, 403 visa application form, police certificate, vaccination records) and sends to AE and PLF mobilisation team (for PLS only).

    • Step 07.

      AE applies and pays for worker visas in HA IMMI system.

    • Step 08.

      HA provides HAP ID to HA IMMI account.

      AE provides HAP IDs to LSU (Samoa and Tonga exempt).

    • Step 9.

      LSU assists workers to make medical assessment bookings (must have HAP ID) and chest x-rays if required.

    • Step 10.

      PANEL DOCTOR uploads medical results to HA IMMI account.

    • Step 11.

      LSU conducts PDB training on topics such as Australian law, employer/worker roles and responsibilities, deductions and living in Australia.

      AE provides additional information on accommodation, travel plans and arrival.

    • Step 12.

      HA grants worker visas or requests more information.

    • Step 13.

      AE finalises travel documents, sends to LSU.

      AE finalises worker induction program (see AE worker mobilisation toolkit).

    • Step 14.

      LSU provides workers with travel documentation (itinerary, tickets, copies of passports, visas and OOE).

    • Step 15.

      WORKERS travel to Australia.

    Unsuccessful visa applicants:

    LSU/AE/agents undertake process of identifying replacement workers and return to step 5.


AE: approved employer
DEWR: Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
EN: endorsement number
HA: Department of Home Affairs
HAP ID: Health Assessment Portal ID
LSU: labour sending unit of relevant Pacific or Timor-Leste government
OOE: offer of employment to workers
PDB: pre-departure briefing for workers
PLF: Pacific Labour Facility (acting on behalf of DEWR)