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AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION ALERT

The Australian government has announced changes to the 457 visa for skilled foreign workers reducing the time they can remain in Australia after their employment ceases from 90 to 60 days.

The change to the 457 visa scheme will come into effect on Saturday.

Minister Dutton said the change would assist in ensuring that the 457 program meets its intent of acting as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, Australian workers, as well as reducing likelihood of 457 visa holders, who are only permitted to work for an approved sponsor and who are not eligible for unemployment benefits, entering into informal employment arrangements and being exploited.

Labor extended the period to 90 days from 28 as part of its overhaul of the 457 visa system towards the end of the Rudd/Gillard era. At the time, Labor said the extension would "allow workers more time to get their families' affairs into order if they're moving home, or to look for another job".

Labor's bid to curb 457 visas and comes in the aftermath of Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election, where he successfully exploited anger about lost blue-collar jobs in the US rust belt.

Minister Dutton confirmed the proposed 457 visa changes were gazetted in October, suggesting they were not a response to the success of Mr Trump's protectionist campaign or Labor's vow earlier this week to reform the 457 system.


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