India is examining “consequences” of Australia’s decision to abolish a popular work visa used by over 95,000 foreign workers, majority of them Indians, and said the issue will also be looked at in the context of free trade talks. The programme, known as 457 visa, allows businesses in Australia to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers.
“The government is examining consequences of the new policy in consultation with all stakeholders. This is also a matter we will be looking at in the context of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said today.
Announcing his government’s decision to abolish 457 visa, Australian Prime Minister Melcolm Turnbull said though his country was an immigration nation, the fact remains that Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs.
The majority of the visa holders under the 457 category were from India, accounting almost a quarter of the intake, followed by the UK and China at 19.5 per cent and 5. 8 per cent respectively, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.