Australia scraps visa programme mostly used by Indian workers

Gwen Vasquez
April 20, 2017

As at September 30 a year ago there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visas and 76,430 secondary visa holders (members of their family).

The PM went on to say that the abolished program will be replaced with the new Temporary Skills Shortage Visa, a new system "specifically created to recruit the best and brightest in the national interest" that will impose tougher requirements on businesses looking to employ foreign workers.

Inspired by Trump, Prime Minister Turnbull has also pitched for "Australians First" and said Australian jobs should be for Australians. It is followed by the United Kingdom at 19.5% and China at 5.8% of the visa holders, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

At a press conference in Canberra, Turnbull said the 457 Visa system needed to be replaced because it had "lost its credibility".

Indian techies working in Australia would not be affected by its government's move on visas granted to them under a specific category, said the Indian IT industry's representative body Nasscom on Wednesday. The two new visa schemes will have stringent measures and require foreigners to have better work skills as well as English language proficiency, he said.

A four-year business visa which allowed people to live in Australia with their immediate family.

The new program will offer a two-year visa with a broader list of occupations, and a four-year visa with stricter requirements and a smaller job pool. This decision has been taken keeping in mind the priority that the citizens must get over foreign workers.

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With Australia set to abolish the 457 visa programme used by companies to bring in temporary foreign workers, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has assured that it is examining the consequences of the new policy in consultation with all stakeholders.

Dutton said there would be a grandfathering arrangement for current visa holders, but the changes would stop the "open-ended" nature of the scheme.

But there are allegations it has been used by employers to import cheap labour, rather than to attract genuinely needed skills.

According to the Federal Government, the number of eligible jobs for the visas will be cut from 651 to 435, with application fees to increase. The change will not affect the 95,000 people who now hold a 457 visa.

"We think there needs to be a real tightening of the temporary work migration visa".

There are 95,000 workers on 457 visas at the moment - less than one per cent of the workforce.

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