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Australia scraps visa for skilled foreign workers
Politically loaded questions such as “is it OK to assault your partner behind closed doors?” and “is it acceptable to keep girls from school?” could be added to a tough new test to become an Australian citizen.
Employers have given the thumbs up to the Turnbull government’s decision to scrap the 457 visa program for temporary foreign workers and replace it with a tighter regime.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce major changes to the nation’s citizenship test, which will reportedly involve probing foreigners about Australian values.
As soon as the announcement came regarding the end of 457 work visa, reactions started coming in, from Australian startups.
In a move that follows similar curbs on migrants by numerous developed nations around the world, Mr Turnbull revealed plans to abolish the 457 visas which are used by about 170,000 people and their families.
Senator Wong said the citizenship test was already in English and had been largely designed by former Liberal prime minister John Howard. Among other steps, the action will bring a review of the USA work visa program. Under the new system, employers wishing to sponsor individuals for the visas will be required to prove that the candidates has at least two years of previous work experience and a higher level of English language competence than is now required.
Turnbull also announced the establishment of a new training fund to help Australians fill skills gaps that now exist in the country.
Earlier this year Immigration Minister Peter Dutton also mentioned making changes to the citizenship test was a debate “worth having”.
“If you look at the facts here, we do have the need for a foreign workforce in some circumstances but I think it would become the default option in some instance”.
The test the prospective citizens are required to pass will focus on respect for women and children.
Australia will make it more hard to gain citizenship in a major overhaul of its migration process, the BBC reported.
In his speech to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Turnbull said changes to citizenship rules allow the country’s migration program to contribute further to social cohesion while enhancing the security of every Australian.
Australia has long had high rates of immigration, with one in four Australians either born overseas or with at least one parent born in another country.