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Australian visa 457: Indians IT workers make up nearly 16% of applicants

LiveMint logoLiveMint 18-04-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: Australia scrapping the 457 visa programme comes as a new challenge to India’s IT industry that was already facing pressure from the Donald Trump administration’s attempts to overhaul H1B visas in the US.

Indian IT professionals account for nearly 18,000 visas issued under the 457 visa category, according to a research report by the Australian Population Research Institute.

In 2015-16, information communication and technology (ICT) professionals accounted for 17,185 or 16% of 106,130 visas issued under visa category 457 and for those which took permanent residence, according to a 6 December 2016 report, titled Immigration Overflow: Why It Matters by The Australian Population Research Institute.

Indians constituted 76% of the total 457 visas issues. The 457 visa programme allows businesses to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is shortage of Australian workers.

“We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains: Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing the 457 visa, the visa that brings temporary foreign workers into our country,” said prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The report’s authors also concluded that the relative success of Indian IT companies in Australia “winning IT consulting work in the design and implementation of new IT software systems for Australian businesses and governments” was also due to “import of their own staff on temporary visas to do much of the work”.

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