Australia to raise English language standard for citizenship

Posted April 20, 2017

The government on Tuesday scrapped a visa programme for temporary foreign workers and replaced it with a new system aimed at reducing unemployment among Australians.

"The government is in touch with the governments of the United States and Australia on these matters and is also making full assessment of impact of these recent changes, in consultation with all stakeholders", he said.

The days of young Irish people heading off to work in Australia for more than a year or two look like they are coming to an end.

Indian IT industry's representative body National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) on Wednesday said that Indian techies working in Australia would not be affected by Australian government's move on visas granted to them under a specific category.

"That would affect the students if they think their occupations are out of the list, so they might choose another country which has a more favourable immigration policy for them", she said.

Originally, the 457 visa was created to prevent gaps in the Australian labour market by allowing business to sponsor skilled migrant workers, but it has now been replaced by two other working visas with stricter conditions.

"We are putting jobs first, we are putting Australians first", he said.

The test would have questions assessing an applicant's understanding of and commitment to shared Australian values and responsibilities, Turnbull said. The list for a new four-year visa would be even shorter.

It was billed as an "Australians first" game-changer that would give local workers priority over foreigners for local jobs.

The numbers of jobs eligible for the two-year and four-year visa streams will be slashed, with 216 occupations ranging from antique dealer to fisheries officer to shoe-maker, axed from a list of 651 professions on the list.

But Opposition Leader Bill Shorten claims the Turnbull government's decision to slash the list of occupations eligible for the two year visa is "already unravelling".

"We're just in the process of applying for another 457 visa and again because we haven't been able to find suitably qualified people in Australia to fill that position".

The reforms would involve the mandatory granting of a new provisional visa before a person would be granted permanent residency.

He said the government would work with companies to ensure they met labour market testing requirements, and warned "there will be a particular focus on companies that have an unnecessarily high proportion of 457 or foreign workers in jobs as well".

The 457 Visa programme was introduced by the former Howard government in 1996-97.