'Aussie values': 457 visa will go

Skilled worker

Announcing the policy change on Facebook, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was "putting Australians first" by giving them priority for jobs now open to overseas workers.

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.

He said the government would work with companies to ensure they met labour market testing requirements, and warned "there will be a particular focus on companies that have an unnecessarily high proportion of 457 or foreign workers in jobs as well".

Two new temporary skills shortage visas will adopt an "Australian first" approach to skilled migration - scrapping the 457 visa programme.

The measures will be introduced immediately, but those already holding 457 visas will be exempt from any changes.

If a person fails three times, they will have to wait two years before trying again.

Bosses who rely on 457 workers have tried to bring to the Prime Minister's attention their assessment of Australian workers - according to the employers, they're lazy, greedy, and plain unreliable.

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The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, on Wednesday defended the decision to replace the 457 visa program with a tighter regime.

"We are putting jobs first, we are putting Australians first...we are an immigration nation, but the fact remains that Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs", the PM announced this week via social network Facebook.

The co-founder of tech company Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, said 457 visas were essential for Australia and that any move to make bridging the talent gap more hard would be bad for the country.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson took some credit for the policy change. New Zealand citizens without a criminal conviction or untreated tuberculosis can visit, live and work in Australia without a tourist or work visa.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order to review the H-1B visa programme. Since 2012, more than 500 foreign workers have been granted [BBC report] a 457 visa to work at businesses including McDonald's, KFC and Hungry Jack's.

Referring to Australia replacing its popular 457 work visa program with another program, he said senior Australian officials have conveyed to India that "the impact of the changes will be negligible on Indian workers, most of whom fall in high skill category".

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