ibusinesslines.com March 20, 2018

'Australia first' foreign visa changes spark cheers, fears

20 April 2017, 05:09 | Myron Mathis

US Citizenship and Immigration ServicesReuters

US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the new citizenship test would reflect Australian values instead of the current multiple-choice format.

And there is no wait for the changes to kick in.

The requirements would apply to all new applications for citizenship, the government said.

The Aussie leader and Dutton declared several major modifications to the rules of acquiring Australian citizenship in the wake of scrapping the 457 working visa program.

"Membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be afforded to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia", Mr Turnbull said.

The Australian Government recently announced that it would abolish the 457 visa and replace it with two new visas to protect the interests of native workers.

"It accuses all immigrants. of not adhering with some confected notion of Australian values", GetUp human rights director Shen Narayanasamy said in a statement. The visa programme is now used by nearly 100,000 foreign workers. The new measures will also up residency requirements from one year to four. Cheaters will now automatically fail.

She also pushed for tighter restrictions on the amount of times an applicant could take a test, and called for new migrants to improve their English-language skills.

And to become an Australian, there's to be a social cohesion demonstration, or test.

Any conduct inconsistent with Australian values will be considered as part of the citizenship process.

While we don't have any real detail yet regarding this "change", we suspect it will boil down to a rebranding of the 457 visa, with some additional restrictions or requirements to close the loopholes of which employers have always been taking advantage.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the government wanted applicants to view citizenship as a "big prize".

Must demonstrate competent English language skills through a tougher reading, writing and listening test (people with permanent or enduring incapacity, or aged under 16, exempted).

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.

As for Australia, he said the changes announced by the Australian government replaced one scheme with another.

The public will be able to make submissions until June on how Australian values might be tested.

India on Wednesday said it is in touch with the United States government and is making full assessment of the impact of US' decision to review the H-1B visa programme which helped foreign workers find jobs in the country.

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