Australian government will try to prevent abuses of the 457 temporary visa

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Michaelia Cash, Australia’s Assistant Immigration Minister has announced that it will begin investigation bout possible abuses in the 457 visa program. The investigation should answer the question of whether labour market testing’ (LMO) should be abolished.

The LMO requires that every Australian employer that wants to hire foreigner with a 457 visa, must first advertise the job position on the Australian media. The panel has been asked to examine whether ‘rorting’ is widespread. If it finds that abuse of the visa is rare, as many Australian business organisations claim, then it will probably recommend that LMO should be scrapped.

If it finds that abuse of the visa is commonplace, then it will probably recommend that LMO should continue. This means that the composition of the panel will be important. Recently the Australian working unions have complained that they are not granted access.

Ms Cash has appointed senior figures from the Australian business community to the panel. It will be chaired by Professor Peter MacDonald of the Australian NationalUniversity. Other member includes officials from the Australian chamber of commerce and specialist from the consulting firms Ernst & Young and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

The protest of the unions regarding the composition of the panel means that its conclusions will be foregone. Many Unionists believe that 457 visas are used by the Australian employers just to import cheap foreign labour, despite the fact that there are available local workers, who can do the same job.

Australian Employers at the same time complained that the LMO system is ineffective. According to them, it is a waste and time and money, which diminishes the competitiveness of the Australian Business. The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows skilled workers from overseas to live and work in Australia for up to four years. To qualify, an international worker must be sponsored by an Australian business.

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