Australian government will abolish the 457 visa and replace it with two new visas, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. The visa programme has been used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, mostly Indians.
“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,” Turnbull said.
Current visa holders will not be affected by the changes. The newly introduced visas are — a two-year visa and a more specialised one for four years “targeted at higher skills”.
Australian PM 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,” Turnbull added.
Turnbull said Australia will adopt a new ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the Government would also slash the number of occupations available for the two-year visa, down from the current tally of more than 650, ABC reported.
The majority of the visa holders were from India, almost a quarter of the intake, followed by the UK and China at 19.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.
457 visa is designed to fill job vacancies which are difficult to find Australians for and allows visa holders to bring their family to Australia on a 457 secondary visa.