Australia abolishes 457 Visa programme used primarily by Indians

An unexpected and sudden announcement from Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister abolishing the visa programme ‘457 Visa’ has come as a shock to Indians as this visa programme is very popular with Indians. This visa allows business firms, having shortage of skilled works of Australian origin, to employ foreign workers up to a period of 4 years. However, this change will not affect people who are currently in Australia with 457 Visa.

Citing the reason the Australian Prime Minister said,”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”. He further added that “We will no longer allow 457 visa to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians” and ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration shall be adopted. Turnbull also said that this move from the Australian Government is not to discourage foreign workers completely, but their aim is to restrict businesses from bringing in foreign workers as they need to shell out less from their pockets for them as compared to their Australian counterparts.

The Australian Prime Minister said that the current program shall be replaced with another visa program but there will be new restrictions. Turnbull added that the Australian Government understands that it is important for businesses to get the people of right skills as per their requirement and hence a new visa program is being designed to meet these requirements and recruit best and brightest in the national interest.

As per reports from ABC, as on September 30, 2016, there were 95,757 workers in Australia on 457 Visa. Majority of these 457 Visa holders are from India followed by UK and China.

Another shocking factor to this announcement is that this has come after recent visit of Turnbull to India where he signed 6 agreements in the fields of Counter terrorism, education, national security and energy with India.

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