Announcing the visa change in a video on his Facebook, Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull said his Government are putting “Australians first”.
The Centre is looking into “consequences” of Australia’s decision to curb its 457 work visa policy, used by over 95,000 foreign workers – a lot of them Indians.
Ms Templeman said scrapping 457 Visas would not necessarily lead to more Australians in work.
Mr Turnbull said on Tuesday that the number of occupations eligible for the new skilled foreign worker visa programme to replace the 457 will be reduced, and the threshold to qualify will be raised.
Reports state that the new visa for foreign workers will be available for two or four years, and will require all the visa holders to have at least two years’ of work experience, a criminal record check and better English-language proficiency.
Those who are now working in Australia on 457 visa will not be affected by these reforms.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said new arrivals must prize “Australian values” and prove their commitment to the nation.
The UK, Canada, and the US-the three countries that account for the majority of India’s software export revenue-have upped the hurdles for Indians to gain work visas.
“The temporary skilled visa program should now be considered as settled without the need for further reviews and disruptive policy change”, said Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox.
The move comes two days after the government unveiled stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas, amid claims employers were abusing a programme now used by nearly 100,000 foreign workers.
“In relation to the medium-term stream which, as the Prime Minister pointed out, is targeted at higher skills, (there will be) a much shorter skills list”.
Earlier this year Immigration Minister Peter Dutton also mentioned making changes to the citizenship test was a debate “worth having”. During the past five years, an average 18,000 Britons have been granted the visas each year.
“Australian citizenship should be honored, cherished”.
The new measures follow Turnbull’s earlier announcement of putting his country’s interest first.
In explaining what constituted “Australian values”, Mr Turnbull said migrants must demonstrate support for religious freedom and gender equality.