Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Australia to raise English language standard for citizenship

Mae Harvey | 20 April, 2017, 09:33

The federal government will abolish 457 visas for skilled foreign workers, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

The government has released a list of 216 occupations which will be removed from visa eligibility, these include: public relations manager, web developer, multimedia designer, media producer, art director, and director of photography.

According to the industries that employ overseas workers over locals, there are some jobs Australians just won't do.

At present, there is no limit to the number of times a person can fail the test.

Australia is to scrap its skilled 457 visa programme which has allowed tens of thousands of Irish workers to immigrate to the country in recent years.

If migrant workers are given the jobs, lawmakers fear that Australians are losing out to foreigners in the Australian job market.

While applicants used to only have lived in Australia for a minimum of a year, they will now need to have been a permanent resident for at least four years.

"Australians must have priority for Australian jobs - so we're abolishing the 457 visas", he said.

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"This is tinkering at the edges and it's unlikely there will be any real change", he said.

PM Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton made the announcement on Tuesday. Researchers at the Australian National University found that as much as 89% of the Indians who had traveled on the 457 program meant to apply for permanent residency.

"The government's foreign policy has facilitated expansion of workforce within the country through flagship programmes such as "Make in India", "Skill India", "Digital India", by delivering large technological partnerships and en hanced foreign direct investment", Baglay said.

"I reckon if we went out today and said to Australians, 'Do you think you could become an Australian citizen without being able to speak English?'".

Mr Turnbull said the citizenship changes, to be announced on Thursday, would put "Australian values at the heart of citizenship processes and requirements". This decision has been taken keeping in mind the priority that the citizens must get over foreign workers.

The new visa will be subject to work experience and English language tests for workers, and labour market testing to prove jobs cannot be filled locally.

The professions in which 457 visa-holders are most commonly employed - cooks, cafe and restaurant managers, chefs and marketing specialists - remain on the list.

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