ALERT: Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers

"We are an immigration nation, but the priority remains Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs", the Prime Minister said.

In a Facebook video posted on Tuesday (18 April), Turnbull stressed that visa reforms will focus on "Australian jobs and Australian value".

Australia is to scrap its skilled 457 visa programme which has allowed tens of thousands of Irish workers to immigrate to the country in recent years.

However, Turnbull said it remained critical to give businesses access to skilled staff.

As well as that, a new training fund to help Australians fill skills gaps will be introduced, with the new four-year visa will also result in fewer permanent residents because of the eligibility changes.

Mr Turnbull was out defending the new two-year and four-year visas on Wednesday, warning the labour market testing requirements would be rigorously policed. The country is concerned with the role the visa holders are actually fulfilling, compared [ABC report] with the role they applied for.

Axing of the popular Australian 457 visa this week will have minimal impact on the Dubbo business community, says Dubbo Chamber president Matt Wright.

The federal government has announced the 457 visa for temporary workers will be abolished.

The co-founder of successful technology company Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, says 457 visas are essential, telling The Australian anything that makes bridging the talent gap more hard is bad for the country.

The government allows 85,000 immigrants each year through the H-1B visa programme, which is reserved for foreign nationals in "specialty occupations" and is largely used by the technology industry.

Now 95,758 people are in Australia on a 457 visa.

"Most are Indian nationals, who are sponsored by Indian IT service companies", said a report of the Australian Population Research Institute. The Australian government, much like the Trump administration, is aiming to tackle the unemployment rate in the country by hiring Australians. They constitute by far the largest occupational group within the 457 program. Australia never said no to any deserving candidate up till now. Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs. But the abolition of visas under 457 is likely to impact relations between India and Australia.

  • Leroy Wright