ibusinesslines.com June 29, 2017

After scrapping 457 visa, Aus unveils tougher citizenship laws

20 April 2017, 02:03 | Justin Tyler

Labor has released an analysis that shows just 8.6 per cent of foreign workers now on a 457 visa are working in jobs that would be excluded under the new visa system.

Amid concerns over the US' changed H1-B visa programme, India has said it was in touch with the Trump administration and making "full assessment" of its impact on Indian professionals.

As at September 30, there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visa programme, ABC reported.

Despite bio-technologists being one of more than 200 occupations now unavailable for migrant workers under the new plan, Mr Walton said the company could still hire for a similar position under the new visas. Those jobs include turf growers, deer farmers, homeopaths, and detectives.

The numbers of jobs eligible for the two-year and four-year visa streams will be slashed, with 216 occupations ranging from antique dealer to fisheries officer to shoe-maker, axed from a list of 651 professions on the list.

The Union government has defended its foreign policy oriented towards job creation, and indicated that the latest measures taken by Australia and the USA will not curtail visas for Indian professionals.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the analysis of the publicly-available data, which was current to December 31, 2016, showed the changes to the list of eligible occupations "isn't a crackdown, it's a con-job".

"What we are doing is strengthening our multicultural society and strengthening our values", Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Shorten's move to ramp up his attack on the Turnbull government's visa changes came as the Prime Minister, on Wednesday morning, indicated broader changes were in the works to Australia's citizenship laws, which would "enable our migration program to contribute still further to our social cohesion while enhancing our security".

Ask someone Down Under what "Australian values" are, and you're likely to get a bit of umming and ahhing.

It was introduced in 1996 and allows skilled workers stay on in Australia if an employer sponsors them, but is now going to be replaced by a new programme and the list of job types that need filling will be dramatically lowered.

"We're just in the process of applying for another 457 visa and again because we haven't been able to find suitably qualified people in Australia to fill that position".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced sweeping changes to Australia's citizenship laws while unveiling tighter requirements for new applicants, a move that comes after the scrapping of the 457 visa program for foreign workers.Under the new reforms, the applicants must be permanent residents for at least four years - three years longer than at present - and must be committed to embrace "Australian values".

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