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Gardener & Landscaper Jobs that Sponsor Australian Skilled Visas

Gardening and landscaping are physically demanding jobs that play a crucial role in beautifying both private properties and public spaces across Australia. For overseas workers interested in gaining Australian work experience in these fields, securing a job that sponsors Australian skilled visas can be an excellent pathway to permanent residence.

Eligible Occupations

The key gardener and landscaper job roles eligible for skilled visa sponsorship in Australia include:

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Horticultural Trades Worker

Horticultural trades workers, commonly known as gardeners, perform various gardening and groundskeeping tasks such as mowing lawns, weeding, pruning, planting, mulching, and assisting with landscaping projects.

arborist

Arborists, also called tree surgeons, are skilled workers responsible for tree care and maintenance activities like pruning, cabling, bracing, and removing trees. They ensure tree health and safety in both domestic and commercial settings.

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Landscaper

Landscapers design, construct, and maintain landscaping and gardening features like paths, patios, retaining walls, ponds, and various types of decorative garden beds and features. Some landscapers may also take on project management responsibilities.

Nurseryperson

Nurserypersons work in nurseries, growing and caring for plants from seeds, cuttings or young plants, and selling plants and other nursery products to retailers or the general public.

In summary, jobs involving hands-on gardening, landscaping, arborist, or nursery duties are typically eligible for skilled visa sponsorship, provided other assessment criteria are also met. Administrative or managerial-only landscaping roles usually do not qualify.

Qualification Requirements

To be sponsored for a skilled visa under ANZSCO codes relating to gardening and landscaping, you must hold a qualification assessed as equivalent to an Australian qualification at Certificate III level or above.

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Relevant qualifications include nationally recognized Certificate III or IV qualifications in:

  • Horticulture
  • Arboriculture
  • Landscaping
  • Nursery Operations

Some examples of suitable Australian qualifications include:

  • Certificate III in Horticulture
  • Certificate IV in Arboriculture
  • Certificate III in Landscaping
  • Certificate III in Nursery Operations

International qualifications equivalent to the above from countries like the UK, Canada, New Zealand etc. are also commonly accepted after being professionally assessed against Australian standards.

If your qualification is from a country without a recognized assessment outcome, you may need to undergo a skills assessment by the relevant industry body, like Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA).

Formal qualifications are not absolutely necessary if you have at least five years of relevant work experience at a skilled level. However, you still need your skills and experience to be assessed against the requirements of the nominated occupation.

English Language Requirements

In addition to work experience and qualifications, skilled visa applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. For gardening and landscaping occupations, you need an average score of at least five each for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening on a test like IELTS.

Some assessors, like Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), require a minimum overall IELTS band score of 5 with no individual band below 5. Others like NGIA accept an overall 4.5 band, so long as no individual band is below 4. It’s best to check directly with your chosen assessor.

Alternatively, you may complete your secondary education in an English-speaking country or meet the requirements of the Occupational English Test (OET) at grade C or higher.

Skills Assessment Process

The first step is getting your qualifications and skills assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation. This usually involves:

  • Completing an assessment application form
  • Providing copies of relevant qualifications, transcripts, and work reference letters
  • Paying the required assessment fees

Common skills assessing authorities for gardening and landscaping occupations include:

  • Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)
  • Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA)
  • Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers (AILDM)

The assessment process takes 4-8 weeks on average. If your skills and qualifications are assessed as suitable, you’ll receive a positive skills assessment outcome letter to include in your visa application.

Some assessing bodies like NGIA may also require you to sit a supervised practical skills test as part of the assessment process. Be sure to check individual assessor requirements.

Visa Options for Skilled Workers

There are a few visa pathways suited for skilled gardening and landscaping workers with an Australian employer willing to sponsor them:

Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa

The new TSS visa allows employers to sponsor positions for up to 4 years if the job is on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List. Key occupations like Horticultural Trades Workers are included on this list.

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSMIT) visa

For intra-company transfers to fill short-term skill gaps within an international company’s Australian operations, the TSMIT visa is the best option. Valid for up to 2 years.

Permanent Residence through Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (SER)

If you gain two years of work experience in a regional area on a TSS or other eligible visa, employers can sponsor you directly for permanent residency through the SER visa pathway.

Check relevant visa criteria and your eligibility carefully before applying for or accepting any position, especially regional jobs where living and work situations can vary considerably. Ensure the employer is legitimate and willing to fully sponsor your visa.

Salary Requirements

To qualify for skilled visa sponsorship, your total remuneration package with the sponsoring employer usually needs to meet or exceed the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

For the 2022-23 financial year, the TSMIT is set at AUD$53,900. Your salary before tax must be equal to or above this amount. The threshold is reviewed annually by the Department of Home Affairs.

Some regional locations have lower minimum salary thresholds. Skills Assessment authorities may also calculate a slightly higher benchmark salary based on your qualifications, experience, and the occupation’s market rates.

So, in summary, to be eligible for skilled visa sponsorship for gardener or landscaper roles, your income should comfortably exceed AUD$53,900 per year under a full-time employment contract with superannuation, leave entitlements, and other conditions in accordance with Australian work laws.

Common FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about gardening and landscaping jobs that sponsor Australian skilled visas:

Does work experience in other countries count?

Yes, skilled gardeners and landscapers with international work experience at an equivalent skills level to the Australian occupation standards can have their experience assessed and considered as part of their application.

Do I need to find a job offer before applying?

While not strictly necessary, it is highly recommended you have a guaranteed full-time job offer from an eligible sponsoring employer before applying for a skilled visa. This significantly boosts your chances of visa approval.

Is it very difficult to find a sponsoring employer?

Finding an employer willing to sponsor a skilled visa, especially in regional locations, can be challenging but not impossible. Consider broader career options, build local networks, and take every opportunity to demonstrate your skills and cultural fit for the Australian jobs market.

Can I work casually while my visa application is processing?

No, on most temporary skilled visas, you’re restricted to working only for the sponsoring employer listed on your visa, usually in a full-time, permanent position. Casual or contract work is generally not permitted until you receive permanent residency.

What locations offer the most landscaping/gardening jobs?

Major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane hold the highest job volumes with good access to skilled employers. Regional centers near large towns in QLD, NSW, and VIC also present opportunities, especially if considering the regional permanent skilled visa pathway.

How long will the visa process take from start to finish?

Assuming you meet all application requirements upfront, the overall duration usually ranges between 6-12 months, allowing for skills assessment, visa lodgement processing, health checks, police clearances, and final decisions. Faster results are possible if you have a pre-arranged job offer from an approved sponsoring employer.

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If you meet the criteria and are ready to take the next steps, consider exploring these application options:

  • Search for relevant job vacancies on SEEK.com.au using the advanced job search filters for location, industry/classification, work type, minimum salary, etc. Apply directly to suitable roles.
  • Register a profile on SEEK and upload your resume so recruiters can find you for roles matching your qualifications and experience.
  • Sign up for recruitment agency databases like Hamptons International and Hudson Recruitment, specializing in skilled migrant placement.
  • Contact industry associations like Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) for networking events and insider information on member company job opportunities.
  • Commence your skills assessment through Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) by submitting documentation of your qualifications and work experience narrative for evaluation against Australian standards.
  • Look for vacancies posted directly on the employer career sites of major garden/landscape suppliers, contractors, and local councils. Apply online or make a proactive introduction.
  • Search specialized job boards like EthicalJobs.com.au, which list roles offered by companies committed to providing visa sponsorship and cultural onboarding support.
  • Connect with your extended professional network on LinkedIn, politely inform your connections of your immigration goals and credentials, and request introductions if they hear of suitable openings.
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