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Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers

Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers”

The current 4-year work visa program, 457 visa program [materials], which allows workers from overseas to live in Australia with their immediate family, will be abolished [BBC report] and will be replaced by two temporary visas that carry additional obstacles.

The new visas will require applicants to have previous work experience.

"We are an immigration nation but, the fact remains, Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs", he said in a video.

The new temporary skills shortage (TSS) visa comes with tightened requirements and a much shorter list of potential jobs available.

Almost 100,000 people were living in Australia in 2016 on 457 visas, almost half from China, the United Kingdom or India.

On the same day that US President Donald Trump was expected to order a review of the popular H-1B visa program, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull put up his own wall. The US administration has said that with the new reforms to the H1-B visa programme, they will now employ a merit-based vetting system, which will only allow highly-skilled foreign workers to get through.

Inspired by Trump, Prime Minister Turnbull has also pitched for "Australians First" and said Australian jobs should be for Australians.

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But PM Malcolm Turnbull said it will be abolished to prioritise the recruitment of Australian nationals.

The new temporary scheme will provide a list of occupations that qualify for a visa and the number will be brought down from the more than 200 present now.

There have been long-running concerns over exploitation of 457 visa holders - who depend on their employer to remain in Australia - and over labour market testing.

Mr Turnbull rejected comparisons between his announcement and a move by United States president Donald Trump to tighten foreign worker visas in a "buy American and hire American" executive order.

As at September 30, 2016, there were 95,757 workers in Australia on 457 visas. "They will continue under the conditions of that visa", Dutton said.

The scheme will be replaced by a new temporary visa specifically created to recruit "the best and brightest", with tougher English language tests and labour market testing requirements.

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