Australia to introduce stricter rules on working visas

Australia will introduce stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas, the government said.

PM Malcolm Turnbull said the current 457 visa programme will be abolished to prioritise Australian nationals, BBC reports.

In its place, two new temporary visas will carry additional requirements and draw from a smaller list of eligible professions.

The 457 scheme had attracted criticism that Australian workers were losing out to foreign counterparts.

"The new system will be manifestly, rigorously, resolutely conducted in the national interest," Mr Turnbull said on Tuesday.

According to government statistics, 95,758 people were living in Australia on 457 visas last year, with the highest proportion coming from India (24.6%), the UK (19.5%) and China (5.8%).

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