Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers

While the Indian Government indicated on Tuesday night the visa changes might threaten negotiations for a trade deal, Mr Turnbull talked up the importance of jobs going to Australian workers first.

The 457 visa is the most commonly used program for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled foreign workers to work in the country on a temporary basis.

The new program will offer a two-year visa with a broader list of occupations, and a four-year visa with stricter requirements and a smaller job pool.

"But the fact remains, Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs", Turnbull said in a video announcement posted on Facebook.

According to the Australian government, for example, most of the Indians who migrated in 2014-15 did so under the 457 program.

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

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Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Inspired by Trump, Prime Minister Turnbull has also pitched for "Australians First" and said Australian jobs should be for Australians. "Govt is in touch with US & Australia & making full assessment of impact of these recent changes, in consultation with all stake holders", said MEA.

In the 12 months to June 2016, just 3,030 Irish people, including workers, their partners and children, were granted these skilled visas, down 26 per cent from 4,119 the previous year, and 71 per cent since the numbers peaked in 2013.

The 457 visa was introduced by the Howard government in 1996 to fill skill shortages in the Australian workforce.

"What we propose is that under the temporary skills shortage visa short-term stream there will be a two-year visa, with the options of two years, but there won't be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that".

The new visas will be available in two-year and four-year versions, with the longer one being targeted to higher-skilled positions and requiring greater English proficiency. The country is concerned with the role the visa holders are actually fulfilling, compared [ABC report] with the role they applied for. "They will continue under the conditions of that visa", Dutton said.