Changes to Australian citizenship to focus on what's important to you
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 03, 2017,
May 03, 2017, 6:10
The decision to abolish 457 temporary work visas is presented by Malcolm Turnbull as putting the interests of Australians first.
The old visa programme will now be replaced with two new schemes that will put restrictions and make the laws stringent than earlier.
Two new temporary skills shortage visas will adopt an "Australian first" approach to skilled migration - scrapping the 457 visa programme.
Sounding similar to Trump's "America first" moto, Turn bull said that the idea behind reforming the visa is to put "Australians first" by giving them priority for jobs which are now open for overseas workers in the country.
Current 457 visa holders will be unaffected by the changes.
According to the Australian government, for example, most of the Indians who migrated in 2014-15 did so under the 457 program.
A list of 650 occupation classifications that qualify for a temporary visa will be cut by 200 and the new visas will require applicants to have work experience.
Applicants will also be required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years - up from one year - and will only be allowed to fail the citizenship test three times. But critics argued that businesses abused it by paying foreigners lower wages than most Australians would accept.
Mr Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will address the media in Canberra on Tuesday afternoon.
The measures will be introduced immediately, but those already holding 457 visas will be exempt from any changes.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced an overhaul of Australia's foreign worker system. Crucially for Indians hoping to use the 457 route, the new two-year visa can not be used as a pathway to permanent residency.
The new short term visas will be issued for two years, while medium term visas will be issued only for more critical skills shortages and for up to four years.
It comes after Australian said last month that it would largely end granting visas to foreign workers in the fast food industry.
He said citizenship would only be granted to those who supported Australian values, respected the country's laws and "want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia".