Australia Immigration figures show applications for 457 visas (temporary skilled workers visas) fell 49 per cent in the five months to November, after the laws were tightened requiring employers to pay equal wages and lift conditions for foreign workers.
Despite these changes, the numbers for the same visa class began to pick up through October and November as employers became more familiar with the rules. Currently, more than a third of the country’s temporary skilled migrants work in NSW.
The Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, said a report released Monday on temporary workers provided evidence the changes were having the intended effect as the Australian average salary jumped to AU$85,300, from $74,700 in the same period a year earlier.
Nurses, general practitioners, trainee doctors and computing professionals topped the list, Senator Evans said.
The 457 Australian Visa is one part of the Australian Skilled Migration program, which focuses on attracting skilled workers to emigrate to the country. The Government made the changed last year to improve the salary of all employees, and make sure jobs were not being given at below market value to overseas nationals.