Visa policy changes: India in touch with US, Australia

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

The discontinuation of the 457 visa will likely have an outsized impact on Indian visa holders, who account for a quarter of the intake, according to ABC News.

The programme allows business to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers. So we're abolishing. the visas that bring temporary foreign workers into our country.

Some of those jobs no longer eligible under the new visa include: actors; pilots, butchers, flight attendants, futures traders; jockeys, emergency service workers, radio journalists, web developers, dental therapist and more.

The 457 visa program was designed for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work in the country temporarily.

"How can the government make such massive changes in one afternoon?"

From Thursday the coalition wants applicants to face a stand-alone English test and ask them to commit to embracing Australian values.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

A second four-year visa will require a higher standard of English language skills as well as a proper criminal check.

The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, on Wednesday defended the decision to replace the 457 visa program with a tighter regime. The government also plans to set up a training fund to better equip local workers for jobs that previously went to foreigners.

A list of 650 occupations that now qualify for a temporary visa will be cut by 200 and applicants must have previous work experience.

"What we're doing is strengthening our multicultural society and strengthening the commitment to Australian values", Prime Minister Turnbull said.

Pauline Hanson, leader of the One Nation party, said Turnbull was "finally acting on the suggestions I made to him about the citizenship test".

Allowing applicants to apply only three times, and automatically failing anyone who cheats on a test.

"You really struggle for staff and it's very hard", he said.

On Tuesday, hammering his "America First" campaign theme, Trump signed an order tasking the department heads of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Labour to propose reforms in order to ensure H-1B visas are given to the "most-skilled or highest paid" petitioners. This decision has been taken keeping in mind the priority that the citizens must get over foreign workers.

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