The Australian government is to launch an investigation into the country’s temporary 457 visa system and has pledged to cut any red tape that is deemed to be holding the programme back.
The current Coalition government had promised a review of the controversial measures introduced by Labour to tighten the 457 visa system during the last few months of its reign, and Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash has now announced that such an inquiry will take place soon.
Former Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor had introduced a number of limitations on the visa early last year, stating that there were more than 10,000 cases of illegitimate uses of the visa – a claim strenuously denied by Australian employers and business groups throughout the country.
The review will carried out by an independent expert panel who will be asked to examine non-compliance by employers, the costs to employers, the sanctions on rorts and the scope for deregulation while maintaining the integrity in the scheme.
There were 90,780 temporary workers in Australia under the scheme at the end of last year, up 8.3 per cent on the previous year. However, the number of 457 visa applications lodged in the year to 31st December fell by 37.9 per cent to 23,420 compared to the previous year, according to department statistics.
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