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NEW VISA PROGRAM TO BE INTRODUCED

Turnbull scraps 457 visa

 

May 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the government will abolish 457 visas for skilled foreign workers and replace them with a new visa program.

The 457 visa will be replaced initially by a new temporary two-year visa specifically designed to recruit the "best and the brightest" in the national interest.

"We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians," Mr Turnbull said in a statement, stressing the reforms were focused on "Australian jobs and Australian values". 

Temporary work visas, otherwise known as 457 visas, allowed skilled workers to come to Australia and be sponsored by an approved business for up to four years if the business could not find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the job.

The program will be replaced by two new visas; a two-year skilled work visa which will require previous work experience and a four-year visa which will require a high level of English proficiency and a criminal history check.

The list of qualifications that will apply to these visas will also be shortened.

Anyone now in Australia on a 457 visa will not be affected by the new arrangements. 

In a joint press conference with immigration minister Peter Dutton shortly after the video was released, Mr Turnbull said it remained critical to give businesses access to skilled staff.

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

Mr Dutton said the two-year visa would have no permanent residency outcome - a factor he said had been "part of the attraction" of the current 457 visa.

He said the reforms were "an attempt to clean up Labor's mess... a policy that got out of control".

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson attempted to take some credit for the policy change, claiming: "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!" 

Mr Turnbull said Australia is an "immigration nation" and the "most successful multi-cultural nation in the world".

"But the fact remains, Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs," he continued.

Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey dismissed the new arrangements, saying it's unlikely there will be any real change.

"What we really need is a root and branch review, so that migrant exploitation and wage theft is properly tackled and Australian standards are both maintained and improved."

 

Greek Tribune

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