Modi raises visa issue with Australian PM Turnbull
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged concerns about the “possible impact” of the recent changes in Australian visa regulations for skilled professionals during a telephonic conversation with his counterpart Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday. Turnbull called Modi to thank him for the success of his recent visit to India.
New Delhi is examining the 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.
A government release said the two Prime Ministers agreed that officials from both sides will remain in “close touch on the issue.”
“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,” Turnbull said in April.
The majority of the visa holders were from India. The nationals of the UK and China come after Indians in availing these visas.
“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 in April.
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