Australia scraps 457 visa programTop Stories

April 18, 2017 10:40
Australia scraps 457 visa program

The Australian government on Tuesday abolished a visa program that is used by more than 95,000 temporary foreign workers, the majority of which are Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment in the country.

The program, known as 457 visa allows local business in Australia to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs, where there is a shortage of Australian workers.

Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull addressed the abolishment by saying, local people must have the priority for jobs.

"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," said PM Turnbull.

The majority of people, who held this visa, were from India followed by the United Kingdom and China.

"We will no longer allow 457 visa to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians," the Prime Minister said.

He said that the country will adopt a new ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration.

As of September 30th last year, there were 95,757 workers in Australia on 457 visa program, ABC reported.

The 457 visa program will be replaced by another program, with new restrictions.

"It is important businesses still get access to the skills they need to grow and invest, so the 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa, specifically designed to recruit the best and brightest in the national interest," said PM Turnbull.

The Prime Minister said that the new program will ensure that workers from other countries are brought into Australia in order to fill critical skill gaps and not because an employer finds it easier to recruit a foreigner than hiring an Australian.

PM Trunbull’s order comes days after he visited India, where he discussed a range of issues with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, including national security, counterterrorism, education and energy, were discussed and six agreements were signed.

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