|Posted on April 18, 2017 at 3:25 AM|
With the recent rise of anti-immigration political parties like Pauline Hanson's One Nation, and ongoing pressure from trade unions and their political party the ALP, the 457 visa was always going to be targeted by the Australian Government for significant change.
This pressure for change was also driven by repeated examples of abuse, by a minority of employers, a small number of visa holders themselves, and certain intermediaries.
The recent abolition of 457 visas for the fast food sector was a sign of the Government's intentions in this regard (see my blog date 2 March 2017).
So what is the likely outcome of the Government's announcement? Expect 457 visas to be considerably harder to obtain, but do not expect temporary skilled worker visas to disappear from Australian visa pathways completely.
There are many skill shortages existing in Australia, for example in the hospitality sector (particularly in Sydney), seasonal farm work, and in information and communications technology. These industries would struggle to survive without skilled workers on temporary visas, and the impact on the Australian economy would be significant.
So the Government will most likely tighten up on the number of eligible occupations, and increase penalties and enforcement in areas including adherence to Australian industrial relations and human resources laws. But for genuine applications in industries experiencing demonstrable shortages of skilled workers, it will still be possible to obtain a temporary visa.