Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing the 457 visa, the visa that brings temporary foreign workers into our country,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had announced. The majority of the visa holders under this category were from India, accounting for almost a quarter of the intake, followed by the UK and China at 19.5% and 5.8 %, a report revealed. The new visa will also include mandatory criminal checks and tighter English language requirements. The new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa programme will comprise two streams -short term and medium term-and will be underpinned by more focused occupation lists that are responsive to genuine skill needs and regional variations across Australia.
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. Both streams will include mandatory labour market testing with limited exemptions, a new non-discriminatory workforce test; mandatory criminal history checks, a market salary rate assessment and a new two-year work experience requirement.
The new visa will also include a strengthened training obligation for employers sponsoring foreign skilled workers to provide enhanced training outcomes for Australians in high-need industries and occupations. These changes will give Australian job seekers more opportunities to find work while finding the right balance so businesses can prosper by acquiring the expertise they need. The 457 visa was introduced in the 1990s to quicken the entry of business professionals and highly skilled migrants but over time it was opened up for a broad category of workers.
“Many people who come from India on 457 visas, especially in IT, end up gaining a permanent residency visa of Australia. Hopefully, in the new visa program, the opportunity for transition from temporary to permanent residency will be kept for visa holders,”