Right now, in this pandemic-specific world, is it possible to go anywhere as an ag worker or intern?
What has changed? Is it still possible? With all the restrictions on travel, borders closed, embassies closed or on limited work status, specific categories of visas paused around the world… what options are still out there?
I have pulled together an update on programs in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as these are the formal programs with which Global Cow works. In general, most programs are paused until things stabilize–an approved vaccine would be great news for the entire globe! However, there is always processing time, and gathering paperwork now can be a good step.
For the USA, I’ve written an entire blog post on the various options.
Follow the link below to look specifically at the USA.
Right now, the borders are closed in Australia. There is no listed date for a possible re-opening.
When the country reopens, they will likely work first with neighboring New Zealand under “phase 3”. Additionally, those countries with lower levels and more controlled COVID-19 outbreaks will be likely granted travel rights first.
The Australian program with which we work typically takes about six months for the entire paperwork processing. So it is possible for you to start the paperwork, such as filling out the general application and sending in your CV. Please recognize that it will still take several months to complete the rest of the process, such as a decision about being accepted into the Australian program, being assigned to a farm, getting the visa process, etc.
Australia needs people with experience in dairy, sheep and beef cattle—also big tractor drivers. (Horticulture placements are not available.)
The borders are closed in New Zealand, with very few exceptions for specific workers. So far, dairy/agriculture is not on the list.
However, the NZ dairy industry typically hires about 1,000 foreign workers annually. This year, they have a campaign going to try to convince New Zealanders to change over, and to work on dairies.
As no one knows when the NZ borders will be open again, it is hard to know how long you might wait if this is your chosen destination. Paperwork processing is typically around six months.
Right now, you could begin with the general application and sending in your CV. Please remember it will still take several months to complete the rest of the process, such as a decision about being accepted into the New Zealand program, being assigned to a farm, getting the visa process, etc.
Agriculture is essential in all countries, and of course, farms are still continuing with their labors.
It is possible that individual countries may have openings and may accept people.
OUR FINAL THOUGHTS
In general, we’re urging people to plan now… but plan on arriving sometime in 2021.
If you want to have an agricultural experience now, we can talk about your situation specifically. (A vaccine will make this sort of traveling possible again!)