When Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal became a permanent resident of Australia in 2016, the young farmer from India decided to follow his passion for agriculture, which meant that the family moved from a big city to a regional country town.
Punjabi migrants who aim to settle in Australia’s regional areas for visa and other purposes are often curious to know more about existing opportunities in the farming sector.
Although, the merits of moving away from the city is a personal choice which people often make after seeking expert advice, a young immigrant farming family has shared their personal experience with SBS Punjabi.
- Indian migrant family moved to regional Australia after securing permanent residency
- Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal says he has a passion for agriculture
- Mr Dhaliwal says he often gets queries from farmers who wish to migrate to Australia from Punjab, India
- There are special visa subclasses for skilled workers living and working in regional areas
Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal is involved in the cultivation and harvesting of grapes in Mildura, a regional city in northwest Victoria.
The Dhaliwal family moved to Mildura in 2016 to acquire ‘any sort’ of farming opportunity and ended up buying a 52 acres farm with wine-grapes.
“Mildura has a huge opportunity for people who wish to try their hand in the farming sector. It was my passion to get into agribusiness, which inspired me to move to my chosen regional town of Australia,” he said.
“We are living a very peaceful life. Our family prefers rural life as compared to the hustle and bustle of the city. Moving here was a unanimous decision by our family and we have never regretted making this choice.” Mr Dhaliwal who came to Australia from Punjab, India in 2008, started his migration journey from Brisbane, Queensland.
“I used to be a taxi driver in Brisbane. I was also involved in a cleaning business in Qld for at least four years.”
After securing permanent residency in 2016, Mr Dhaliwal decided to follow his ‘passion’ for farming, which is also his family tradition back in Punjab.
“This is something that our family has been doing for many generations back in rural Punjab. I was very lucky that I found some local friends from the farming sector who helped and guided me to start this venture in Mildura,” he said.
Mr Dhaliwal also talked about the wide variety of opportunities that regional areas can offer to new migrants, as also to people wishing to move away from cities for a ‘better job or lifestyle’.
“Many people from my own community often ask me about relocating from cities to rural areas. Well, the answer is not that simple and straight forward because this decision is based on a number of factors including personal choices, background, skills, and relevant experience,” he said.
Mr Dhaliwal said that for him, the most important factor was the consent of his family who was also willing to relocate to a regional set-up.
“I’ve seen many families who would move to rural areas without thinking through and prior preparation, only to move back to Melbourne or Sydney within a year or so for various reasons,” he added.
“But it was an easy decision for our family. My wife got a job here, our kids adjusted to the new environment very quickly and our life became reasonably stable after initial hiccups.”
Mr Dhaliwal said that Mildura gave their family an opportunity to live both semi-urban and rural life.
“Whilst this is a very peaceful town and quite unlike a big bustling city, we still have all sorts of facilities here including good schools and a hospital. We can’t be more thankful for what Australia has given us – a prosperous, happy, and healthy life.”
Mr Dhaliwal said he was lucky that he was able to establish a work-life balance after he started this farming business.
“Now we have more time together. The outdoor activities are endless for our kids who often join me at the farm for fun and entertainment. Blessed we are, as we get to have a close interaction with the mother nature too. ”
Mr Dhaliwal said that he is often asked questions about ‘visa prospects’ by many farmers who hope to migrate to Australia from Punjab, India.
“These types of questions are very common in our extended families and communities. But I just want them to be a bit careful as there are many scammers who try to lure people in the name of Agri-visa. Believe me, it is not that easy!”
“You must have experience and skillsets in the farming sector backed by a diploma or degree in agriculture or horticulture, and that is only to be eligible in the skilled migration program. It is better that you check it with some registered migration agents here or back in India.”
Disclaimer: This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.