Oz visa proposal good news for foreign workers

Foreign workers could be allowed to work in Australia for up to a year without a 457 visa under new proposals currently being considered by the country’s government.

Based on the results of an immigration review carried out by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) last month, the Federal Government has revealed that it is looking at simplifying the work visa system to make it easier for employers to bring in skilled foreign workers.

On the advice of the DIBP, the Australia government is now considering introducing a new temporary entry visa –a short term mobility visa – for foreign workers that would not require the candidates to pass language or skills requirement tests. Employers would also not be required to demonstrate that they have looked for local workers before offering jobs to foreign workers.

A research paper noted that the visa will allow foreigners entry into Australia for up to 12 months “to complete specialised work which may include intra-company transfer and foreign correspondents.”

While news of this proposed visa has been met with heavy criticism from unions, who believe that such a visa would take jobs away from Australians, Kate Carnell, the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says it will help employers fill short term vacancies for specialised workers.

“This [visa] is needed because regularly on major projects now a company might need to say install a new piece of equipment in Australia from overseas and they might want to bring in an installer to do the installation,” she told The World Today in an interview. “And there’s nobody in Australia who has used that particular piece of machinery before, so bringing someone in for a short period, but longer than six weeks, is really cost effective.”

The DIBP say that at the moment the visa is only part of a proposal paper and will not be commenting further on it prior to public submissions closing at the end of January. They were also keen to point out that any changes made to skilled migration would complement rather than replace the existing workforce.

Article published 8th January 2015