A backlash to Indian job seekers: Australia abolishes 457 visa program
Melbourne, April 18: The Malcolm Turnbull government of Australia today abolished a visa programme used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, most of them are Indians workers, to tackle the growing unemployment of the nation.
The new programme known as 457 visa program allows business to employ foreign workers for a period up to 4 years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers. The new visas will require applicants to have previous work experience.
A second four-year visa will require a higher standard of English language skills as well as a proper criminal check.
“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 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The majority of the visa holders were from India followed by the Britain and China.
“We will no longer allow 457 visa to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” he said. He said Australia will adopt a new ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration.
According to ABC Report as at September 30th, there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visa programme.
The programme will be replaced by another visa programme, 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,” Turnbull said.
Malcolm Turnbull said the new programme will ensure that foreign workers are brought into Australia in order to fill critical skill gaps and not brought in because an employer finds it easier to recruit a foreign worker than go to the trouble of hiring an Australian.
Malcolm 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 6 agreements were signed.