Australia ends 457 visa program for skilled workers to 'put Australians first'

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks as Immigration Minister Peter Dutton listens on during a media

As at September 30 past year there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visas and 76,430 secondary visa holders (members of their family).

The PM is taking steps to replace the skilled 457 visa to benefit Australians, giving them priority for available jobs.

The Australian Government on Tuesday said it will safeguard Australian jobs by abolishing the Subclass 457 Visa for foreign workers and creating a new temporary visa restricted to critical skills shortages.

Mr Turnbull made it clear that his govt. intends to put "Australians First" ahead of foreign workers for potential local jobs.

"We still hear different employers that often they do take on unskilled migrant workers because they can't get jobs by local people, so they're happy to take on migrants just to fill a shortage", he said. The majority of the visa holders are from India, followed by the United Kingdom and China.

A total of 23,205 Irish citizens were in Australia on temporary visas on June 30th 2015, while current holders will be unaffected by the move.

"Our initial assessment is that the move should not have a major impact on visas granted to Indian IT workers as the 457 visa category covered a lot of fields and was hard to manage", Nasscom said.

Still, some immigration experts say the new visa requirements will have little overall impact on immigration levels in Australia. The four year visa will also require a police check and mandatory labour market testing. "Australia is the most successful multicultural nation in the world".

The 457 visa was being used by foreigners who met the now-defunct Skilled Occupations List (SOL) to work and live in Australia, with an option for full Residency at the end.

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) welcomed the news and said it is confident that the specific skills' needs of the hospitality and tourism sector - particularly in regional Australia - would be catered for in the new system.

What is the 457 visa?

For the shorter visa, more than 200 jobs will be removed from an existing list of about 650 eligible professions.

"The 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa specifically created to recruit the best and brightest in the national interest".

"The government will deny their tough talk on immigration and plan to ban 457 visas is because of One Nation but we all know the truth!"

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