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Immigration to Australia to fall dramatically after crackdown on migrant workers

Staff Writer |
Immigration to Australia will dramatically drop after a crackdown on skilled migrant visas, a report found.

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The Australian government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in April abolished and replaced the temporary work visa, known as the 457 visa, which allowed businesses to employ migrants with expertise in areas that there was a shortfall among Australian workers.

Approximately 200,000 migrants arrive in Australia each year but Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute said that figure would fall by tens of thousands after the 457 change.

Under the new system, migrant workers would need two years of relevant experience in the field before coming to Australia while employers would be forced to pay training levies.

"The business community has had a free run for over a decade and they've been able to bring in or sponsor as many workers as they wanted," Birrell told Australian media on Wednesday.

"These new rules are going to change things. It will make it tougher and will give some disincentives.

"The business community doesn't realise that the number of migrants they can sponsor for permanent entry will shrink to about a third than the present level (of 48,250)."

In announcing the changes, Turnbull said it would force Australian businesses to prioritize local workers.

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