From now on, the skilled foreign workers of Australia holding the 457 visa will be able to stay in Australia for 60 days after their employment is terminated, instead of 90 days, according to a new law from the Federal Government.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced that this new law is to be effective for visas granted on or after 19 November 2016. The Minister said that this step was necessary for Australian workers who are unemployed. The 457 visa was introduced to act as a supplement to Australian workforce, not as a substitute and this law will assist to maintain that purpose, claimed Minister Dutton.

The minister insisted that although immigrant workers with 457 visa are very much appreciated and have significant contribution to the industries and economy, but the government priority should be the Australian workers in a situation where Australian workers are unemployed, but able and willing to work, while the positions are filled up by skilled immigrant workers. Mr. Dutton admits that this will further increase the immigrants’ vulnerability. Immigrant workers under the 457 program are already excluded from any unemployment benefits and can only work under approved sponsor. Dutton criticized the current opposition who increased the time that a 457 visa holder can stay after his employment has ended from 28 days to 90 days. Staying longer would often lead to a better chance of getting another job and hence possibly depriving another able and willing Australian worker of a job.

This decision seems to follow the increasing pressure from the Labor, who demanded foreign workers to be more restricted. Bill Shorten, Labor leader, expresses his concerns about the increasing number of foreign workers in various sectors. While he acknowledges the necessity for foreign workers in certain fields where the skill difference is significant, he claims that many jobs are taken by 457 visa holders that could have been easily done by an Aussie. He stated that he would like to see an Australian working in a position they are qualified for and willing to work for, instead of a foreigner. Also, Labor demanded a job to be advertised for four months before offering it to a foreinger.