Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Australia scrapped a visa program used extensively for transfer of skilled foreign workers while US executive orders expected a day later will overhaul the H-1B system.
The visa program, known as 457 visas, 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.
But if you're one of the 95,000 people currently in Australia on a 457, or held out greedy glutton for some day working in Australia. Here, is something interesting for you to know more about the working visa ban?
What is a 457 visa or a working visa?
- It's a visa for foreign citizens, which "lets a skilled worker travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to four years." Workers have to be sponsored by an Australian business, with the business having to prove they couldn't find a suitable Australian worker to fill the job.
What are the 457 visa recent changes?
The 457 visa sub-class will be abolished completely. In its place will be two new visa programs, one two-year and one four-year, called the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa.
The TSS visa program will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years and will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages in their workforce and will contain a number of safeguards which prioritize Australian workers.
About the new visa existence:
- The new visas will come into force in March 2018.
- While more than 650 jobs are currently available for 457 holders, that number will be reduced by 200 under the new program. Here is the List of 180 Jobs Black Listed For Foreign Employees at Australia.
The new visa classes will have higher requirements than the current 457 program which includes:
- "a higher standard of English".
- "a proper police record, a criminal check".
- a two-year work experience requirement; and"mandatory labor market testing".
Turnbull said the new system would be "conducted in the national interest to put Australians and Australian jobs first".
About the visa?
The holders of the new visas will not be as easily able to apply for permanent residency as 457 holders are, according to Dutton. He said getting a 457 visa "results, in many cases, in a migration outcome, somebody going into permanent residency and becoming a citizen" but that under the new system, "there won't be permanent residency outcomes at the end of [the two-year visa]".
So what about those people who are already on a 457 visa?
The majority of the visa holders were from India. The positive news is that the 95,000 of those who are currently in Australia are not in immediate danger of deportation as the 457 visas would be protected from the grandfathering arrangement.
Why this sudden changes made by the Australian Government?
There have been claims that Australian workers are missing out on jobs to foreigners, and the government has been slowly removing the industries eligible for 457 workers. So, the first priority is given to the Australians by abolishing 457 visas.
The impact of 457 visas?
The current 457 holders need not worry about the visas as they are safe and the problem is faced only if they extend their stay. Many 457 workers are cooks, managers, farmers and laborers, but many people on 457s also occupy fields like medicine, technology, and education.
How much will the 457 visa changes affect these fields and the work role?
There are many questions popping in our head and there is a lot of chaos about the visa changes. For all your queries it will be answered in the upcoming days.