In a decision that is a slap to the majority of Indian working in Australia, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull announced that they have abloished the 457 visa programme. The programme is used over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians.
The 457 programme allows businesses to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is shortage of Australian workers.
We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains: Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing the 457 visa, the visa that brings temporary foreign workers into our country. We will no longer allow 457 visa to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians.Malcom Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister
He said Australia will adopt a new “Australians first” approach to skilled migration.
The majority of the visa holders were from India followed by the UK and China.
With the new temporary visa, the number of occupations on the list will also come down. The new visa will be available for two or four years, requiring visa holders to have two years' work experience, a criminal record check, better English-language proficiency and mandatory labour market testing in a majority of cases.
Those who are currently in Australia on a 457 visa will not be affected by the new arrangement.
Turnbull's announcement comes days after he visited India where a range of issues, including national security, counter terrorism, education and energy, were discussed and six agreements were signed.