Australia to redesign visa program for skilled migrants

Apr 19, 2017 (LBO) – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday he plans to terminate the 457 visa program which permits skilled migrants to work in the country for up to four years.

“We’re putting jobs first. We’re putting Australians first … We are an immigration nation but the fact remains – Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs,” the prime minister said in a video posted on Facebook.

“We’ll no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” Turnbull added.

The government has unveiled plans for a replacement program which it claims will permit Australian companies to continue to “grow and invest” but which will better address acute skills shortages.

Turnbull said the redesigned scheme would introduce requirements for previous work experience, better English language proficiency and mandatory labor market testing.