Martes, 23 Octubre, 2018

India examining consequences of Australia abolishing popular visa programme

Irune Rengel | 20 Abril, 2017, 07:05

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the temporary visas for foreign workers would be replaced by a new class of visa, better targeted to ensure that foreign workers were only brought in to fill genuine skills shortages.

The 457 temporary work visa allows skilled migrant workers who are sponsored by an employer, and who fill an area of need, to live in Australia for up to four years.

Responding to a query, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that the government was examining consequences of the new policy in consultation with all stakeholders.

The majority of the visa holders under this category were from India, accounting nearly a quarter of the intake, followed by the United Kingdom and China at 19.5 per cent and 5.

Axing of the popular Australian 457 visa this week will have minimal impact on the Dubbo business community, says Dubbo Chamber president Matt Wright.

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Mr Turnbull was out defending the new two-year and four-year visas on Wednesday, warning the labour market testing requirements would be rigorously policed. Since 2012, more than 500 foreign workers have been granted [BBC report] a 457 visa to work at businesses including McDonald's, KFC and Hungry Jack's.

Some of those jobs no longer eligible under the new visa include: actors; pilots, butchers, flight attendants, futures traders; jockeys, emergency service workers, radio journalists, web developers, dental therapist and more.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed that existing visa holders would not be affected by the change, and would be accommodated for under the reform.

Mr Turnbull made the comment on Tuesday when he announced an overhaul of the way businesses can hire skilled foreign workers, a decision similar to one being carried out by the U.S. leader on the other side of the world.

The 457 visa program is being replaced by a short-term 2-year visa and a medium-term visa that offers a pathway to permanent residency but will require higher level of English proficiency.

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The prime minister said his government's changes to the visa program had been in the works "going back well over a year".

"We welcome the Prime Minister's move to protect Australian jobs through a more streamlined and rigorous visa process", said TAA chair Martin Ferguson.

The 457 Visa programme was introduced by the former John Howard government in 1996-97.

Mr Turnbull's decision comes days after his state visit to India.

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