Australia toughens foreign worker visas, says Australian jobs for Australians

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Australia govt abolishes visa programme used largely by Indians

The 457 visa, which allowed skilled foreign workers and their partners and children to live in Australia for up to four years if sponsored by an employer, was created to fill labour shortages in the Australian economy.

Australia will abolish a temporary work visa popular with foreigners and replace it with a new programme requiring better English-language and job skills, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday.

"India provides the highest number of temporary skilled workers to Australia of any country; eight out of the top 10 occupations for Indian 457 visa holders (December 2016) were IT professionals", Sidhu said in a statement.

The news has been met with a mixed response on social media, with many quickly pointing out that Turnbull previously criticised former Prime Minister Julia Gillard efforts to reform the system.

The majority of the visa holders were from India followed by the Britain and China.

The view of the Dubbo business chamber on the axing of the 457 visa for foreign workers in Australia.

"The existing 457 visa program is conducted for a period of four years, but essentially it is open-ended, and it results, in many cases, in a migration outcome", he said.

There are now more than 95,000 people in Australia on the 457 visa, the majority of from India, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the total intake, followed by the United Kingdom at 19.5% and China at 5.8%.

The federal government will move to abolish the 457 visa program used by the IT industry to fill skills shortages with overseas workers. Since 2012, more than 500 foreign workers have been granted [BBC report] a 457 visa to work at businesses including McDonald's, KFC and Hungry Jack's.

The list of 650 occupation classifications that qualify for a temporary visa will be reduced by 200. To cater to those needs, the new temporary visa will be "specifically created to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest", he said.

Applicants must have at least two years' experience in their skilled profession and there will be a minimum market salary rate to make sure Australian workers are not undercut.

"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!" she tweeted.

Those working in Australia under a 457 visa now, will not be affected.

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