No impact of Australian visa move on Indian techies: Nasscom


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday that the country is overhauling a visa program that allows skilled workers from overseas to hold jobs for up to four years.

"Insofar as H-1B visas are concerned, the cap has remained at 65,000 since December 2004 when the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 was enacted by the US Congress", Baglay said.

The new program will have two streams: short term, which lasts two years, and medium-term, which will be awarded to address irreparable skills shortages and last four years. "That's our commitment. Australian jobs, Australian values".

"We think there needs to be a real tightening of the temporary work migration visa".

According to government statistics, 95,758 people were living in Australia under 457 Visa programme a year ago, with the highest proportion coming from India (24.6 per cent), followed by Britain (19.5 per cent) and China (5.8 per cent).

Human resources is the only occupation that hired more foreign nationals between those dates (135) on the 457 visa.

"These changes will give Australian job seekers more opportunity to find work while finding the right balance so businesses can prosper by acquiring the expertise they need", Turnbull said in a statement.

The new visas will require applicants to have previous work experience. They will probably be welcomed by the conservative base of the Coalition and nationalist parties such as One Nation, but some sections of Australia's migrant communities could feel targeted.

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A parliamentary enquiry past year also found the current visa system left foreign workers open to exploitation.

Employers who don't properly search for Australian workers won't be able to bring in foreigners under the Turnbull government's new visa regime. The top occupations were cook, software developer programmer and resident medical officer.

The Centre is looking into "consequences" of Australia's decision to curb its 457 work visa policy, used by over 95,000 foreign workers - majority Indians.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions echoed the call for independent research into labour shortages and described the changes as "more spin than substance".

Mr Turnbull said the citizenship changes, to be announced on Thursday, would put "Australian values at the heart of citizenship processes and requirements". "We're putting jobs first".

Companies will also be barred from employing foreign workers in particular roles, including as butchers.

Mr Turnbull says Australia's multicultural society is an example to the world, but it must reflect Australian values.