Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers

  • Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers

Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers

Australia will tighten temporary skilled migration visas, scrapping the current 457 program used by nearly 100,000 people, as the country's labor market weakens and anti-immigration sentiment spreads among developed nations.

The programme will be replaced by another visa programme, with new restrictions.

The immigration minister said yesterday the 457 visa "brand" had been "tarnished beyond all repair" by the former Labor government allowing so many foreign workers entry into Australia.

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), which represents more than 60,000 businesses, said the changes would improve the integrity of Australia's visa programme.

The majority of the visa holders under the 457 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. So we're abolishing. the visas that bring temporary foreign workers into our country.

The decision to abolish 457 temporary work visas is presented by Malcolm Turnbull as putting the interests of Australians first.

"Our reforms will have a simple focus; Australian jobs and Australian values", Prime Minister Turnbull added.

Mr Turnbull, echoing the policy of US President Donald Trump, hailed the policy as "putting Australians first". The government said the visas will be restricted to filling critical skills shortages.

The old visa policy will now be replaced with a new one with a set of restrictions to ensure that there is no shortage of jobs for Australian workers. This means there will be a reduction in the occupations available to skilled foreign workers and also an amendment to the visa's qualifying standard.

The new visas will also have new requirements, including higher English language skills, at least two years of relevant work experience, and a criminal history check.

Critics of 457 said Australian workers lost out to foreign counterparts. Most were employed as cooks, programmers and medical workers.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that for the two-year stream, which could be renewed for two years, "there won't be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that".

The new two-year visa will not be a pathway to permanent residency, but anyone now in Australia on a 457 visa will not be affected by the new arrangements.