Australian Federal Government will abolish the 457 Australian visa and replace it with two new visas, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says.
The move is likely to affect dozens of Indians, who are among the majority of the temporary foreign workers who use the visa programme. Till September 30 last year, there were more than 95,000 foreign workers in the country with this work permit.
Effect to Indians
Indians account for 26.8% of the foreign workers in Australia under the 457 visa programme, the highest among all ethnic groups.
Current visa holders will not be affected by the changes, which will see the introduction of two new temporary skills visas — a two-year visa and a more specialized one for four years “targeted at higher skills”.
Mr Turnbull said the new system would be “manifestly, rigorously, resolutely conducted in the national interest”.
“The migration program should only operate in our national interest. This is all about Australia’s interest,” Mr Turnbull said.
Sheba Nandkeolyar Comment:
As of 30 September, there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visas . 76,430 secondary Australian visa holders (members of their family), the report said. The programme will be replaced by another Australian visa programme, with new restrictions.
Australia India Business Council (AIBC) national chair Sheba Nandkeolyar said the news of the 457 visa scrapping had come as a surprise.
“This may perhaps impact not merely Indian companies in Australia but also Australian companies – many of who tap into international skills in digital, analytical and engineering areas,” Nandkeolyar said. “However, the Prime Minister did advise that there will be a new Australian visa category introduced for the critical skills shortage areas, and I hope this will impact positively on the Indian IT/ICT (information technology/information and communication technology) industry, among others,” she said source:livemint
Implementation of the new Australian visa will begin immediately, with full implementation to be completed by March 2018.
Further changes have been indicated by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection — an internal newsletter obtained by the ABC highlighted “possible further adjustments to eligible occupation lists” among a number of changes planned to come into effect in July.
The newsletter also outlined caveats for a number of roles that remained on the approved occupations list, including chefs, cooks and cafe managers.
These roles will not be made available under the scheme for fast food outlets, coffee shops or “drinking establishments that offer only a limited food service”.
The visa is designed to fill job vacancies which are difficult to find Australians for and allows holders to bring members of their family to Australia on a 457 secondary Australian visa .
Turnbull stressed that migration was an integral part of the Australian story. Its success had helped the nation to become the world’s most successful multicultural nation. “There is no doubt foreign workers have played a significant role in the remarkable economic growth of the nation,” he said. “More than 100,000 workers from 30 countries helped build the Snowy Hydro Scheme . John Howard’s (former Australian prime minister) decision to focus our permanent migration programme on bringing in skills has helped the nation enjoy more than two decades of continued economic growth,” Turnbull added.
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