Australia Makes Major Changes in Its Visa Program

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that the Federal government will abolish the 457 visa and will be replaced by two new visas.

These changes will not have any effect on the current visa holders. The two new temporary class visas will include a specialized four years visa targeted at higher skills and a two year visa.

Mr Turnbull stated that the new system will work in the national interest in a resolute manner.

Peter Dutton, Immigration Minister of Australia said that the government is in plans to reduce the number of occupations that are there in two year visa. At present, there are 650 occupations in the list.

The present 457 visa program is granted for a period of four years, but it paves the way for an immigrant to apply for Australian permanent residency.

The changes that have been proposed by the government include reducing this period from 4 to 2 years, with an option to grant it for another 2 years. However, the opportunity to apply for Australian permanent residency will be reduced.

This visa has been designed to employ foreign workers on job vacancies that cannot be filled by local people and the primary applicant can also bring in family members to Australia on a 457 secondary visa.

Some of the occupations that may be removed from the Approved Occupation List include cooks, chefs and cafe managers. This visa may not be available to employ workers for coffee shops, fast food outlets or drinking establishment where only a limited food service is offered.

According to the latest figures, the number of 457 visa holders in Australia has reduced to 95,758 in September. Of this, nearly a quarter of visa goes to Indians, followed by UK and China.

The Australian government has taken another step and has abolished the Skill Occupation List (SOL), Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Consolidated Occupation List with Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

216 occupations have been removed from the new list from any state nomination eligibility SOL. These changes will have a significant impact on Indians who want to apply for 190 and 489 subclass Australian visas.

The new MLTSSL will still have 16 of the 216 removed occupations. The South Australian government has responded to these changes and all applications for state nomination under the 489 and 190 subclass have been suspended.

Some of the occupations that have been removed from this list include web developers, radio journalists, public relations managers, jockeys, futures traders, flight attendants, butchers, pilots and actors. You can read the full list here

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