Australia and NZ to Restrict Skilled Visa Access

The aim is to put Aussies and Kiwis first

h4-visaImage from Pride Immigration 

The Australian and New Zealand governments have announced that they will tighten access to their skilled work visas in hopes that more jobs will be available for their own citizens.

According to reports, the announcements came a day apart and seem to resonate the same principle as that of the US when it announced stricter regulations for their H1-B visas.

Australia’s 457 visa program had been used to hire foreign workers mostly from the IT and medical industry. According to the BBC, 95,758 people were living in Australia on 457 visas in 2016 with the highest proportion coming from India (24.6%), the UK (19.5%) and China (5.8%).

In place of the four year program, Malcolm Turnbull announced that shorter visas will be introduced. The changes will also require applicants to be more proficient in English, undergo a criminal check, and be subject to labour market testing.

In NZ, The Australian reports that changes include introducing a minimum income requirement, making it more difficult for family members to join visa holders and limiting the amount of time seasonal workers are allowed to stay in the country.

Read more here and here

Related articles:

H1-B Visa Program on Pause

Americans May Lose Visa Free Entry to the EU

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