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Australia to abolish 457 skilled migrant visa

457 Visa application form Source: SBS Radio

On his official Facebook page PM Turnbull said "we're putting jobs first and we’re putting Australians first by abolishing 457 visas."

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced he is abolishing the 457 visa program for skilled migrants.

On his official Facebook page he said "we're putting jobs first and we’re putting Australians first by abolishing 457 visas. Watch the clip below to find out what these reforms mean."

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457 visa program allows business to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers.

The majority of the visa holders were from India followed by the UK and China at 19.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent. 

Later, he along with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made an official announcement to the media.

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Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says the change is an attempt to clean up Labor's mess.

"Labor presided over a policy which got out of control, by their own admission, and what we are doing is making some significant changes in abolishing the program but also introducing a temporary skilled shortage visa through two streams, one a short-term and one a medium-term, and by doing that we restore integrity to this visa program."

The latest figures from the Immigration Department stated there had been a drop in 457 visas holders in Australia to 95,758 in September 2016.

Statistics show that as at September 30 there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visas and 76,430 secondary visa holders (members of their family).

ABC News reports that Turnbull said the four-year visas for skilled migrants would be replaced with a new temporary visa with added requirements, including work experience and better English-language skills.

The new visa would be "specifically designed to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest", PM Turnbull said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, whose party had been calling for tougher restrictions on the use of skilled migrants, tweeted that "the only job Malcolm Turnbull cares about saving is his own".

Labor party wants jobs to be advertised locally for at least four weeks before a foreigner is sourced.

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