Some working holiday makers will have their visa conditions relaxed as the Australian government encourages overseas workers to apply for jobs in essential industries.
Those working in critical services including agriculture, health and aged care will be able to extend their visas if they are set to expire in the next six months, and will have a rule scrapped which usually prohibits them from working for the same employer for more than half a year.
Many of Australia's 118,000 backpackers on 417 or 462 visas have found themselves in limbo amid the coronavirus pandemic, unable to find farm work as borders close, hostels fill up and businesses limit hiring transient workers.
It was a "relief" for 417 visa holder Sofia Linnoinen to find a job as an at-home carer in Wagga last week.
Ms Linnoinen, who arrived in Australia in September, moved to Wagga two weeks ago and started applying for carer work as agricultural opportunities dried up.
She and her friend Patrick Deprie, a backpacker from Germany, cold-called more than 50 farms across several states looking for work without success.
Ms Linnoinen, who worked as a nurse in her native Finland, should be able to stay in her new role for more than six months.
"Because now my visa has restrictions on working with one employer more than six months, so that should be taken away now, because you can work throughout the crisis," Ms Linnoinen said.
Under usual circumstances, working holiday makers wishing to extend their 417 visa for a second year must work for three months in an approved industry in order to do so, a condition which may prove impossible to fulfill under coronavirus restrictions.
Ms Linnoinen, whose visa is set to expire in late September, completed some of her required work at a banana farm near Cairns shortly after she arrived in Australia, but would have two months left to go.
Temporary visa holders including those in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme will be able to apply to extend their visas to help maintain the workforce in the agricultural industry.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said workers also needed to be able to move around the country "to meet seasonal labour needs".
"At the same time it is critical we manage this labour force to support the on-going health of regional communities," Minister Littleproud said.
Working holiday makers will be able to move for farm work provided they register with the government and self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in a new region.
Many backpackers are still scrambling to find jobs and some say it could now be impossible to get home because of border restrictions and skyrocketing ticket prices.
One of Ms Linnoinen's friends from Finland is stuck in South Australia and planning on living in a car with her boyfriend for the remainder of the COVID-19 lockdown.
"It's like, 'Did you really think this through? ... How are you going to survive?'," Ms Linnoinen said.
"They are looking to find jobs but everything's sort of on hold now."