New Delhi is examining “consequences” of Australia’s decision to abolish a popular work visa used by over 95,000 foreign workers, majority of them Indians.
The visa programme, known as 457 visa, allows businesses in Australia to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers.
“We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains: 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,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The majority of the visa holders were from India. The nationals of the UK and China come after Indians in availing these visas.
“We will no longer allow 457 visa to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” the prime minister who was in India recently said.
He said Australia will adopt a new ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration, something similar to what the Trump administration has said.
“The government is examining consequences of the new policy in consultation with all stakeholders. This is also a matter we will be looking at in the context of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said today.
According to sources, the majority of the visa holders under the 457 category were from India, accounting almost a quarter of the intake, followed by the UK and China at 19.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.