The Australia visa that permits overseas skilled immigrants to be employed in the nation for up to four years will be revamped according to the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull.
In a video that was posted on Facebook, Turnbull said that though Australia is an immigration nation, the Australian workers could not be marginalized when it comes to jobs in Australia.
The existing visa program of Australia, popular as the Subclass 457 visa was aimed at catering to the shortage of skills in the Australian labor market. This will now be replaced by two provisional visas that will have a validity of two and four years, quotes Money CNN.
The number of eligible jobs for the visas will be decreased from the existing 651 jobs to 435 jobs. There will also be a hike in the fees for the visa application. It was also reported that the government of Australia will utilize these visas only to cater to skills shortages that are critical.
The eligibility criterions for the new category of visas include proficiency in English language, stringent assessment for labor market test, a minimum of two years of work experience and verification for criminal background.
The new changes will however not be applicable to the existing possessors of 457 visa, said the government. By the end of September 2016, around 96, 000 immigrants possessed the 457 visas.
Immigrants from India held 25% of these visas while nationals from the UK held 20% and Chinese accounted for 6% of the 457 visas.
The decision to cancel the 457 visas was based on the review of the immigration regime in Australia, according to Turnbull who addressed a press conference immediately after the announcement for canceling the visas was made.
However, some of the immigration experts were reported to have said that the fresh visa eligibility criterions would have very little effect on the Australian immigration levels.
The research officer at Australian National University’s Development Policy Center Henry Sherell said that though it appears that drastic changes have been made effective to the visas, it is nothing more than superficial rebranding. There is a lot of political communication around the visa changes and most of the modifications could have been achieved under the existing visa program, added Henry.
The recent decision was a wise political move taken by Turnbull to appease the right-wing coalition members, explained Henry.
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