Govt evaluates impact of US & Australia's new visa programmes on Indians
1. US president Donald Trump had signed a new executive order on Tuesday aimed at curbing misuse of H-1B visas and protecting jobs of American nationals
2. Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull 457 visa on Tuesday and will replace it with two separate merit-based professional visa programmes
After the US and Australia announced tightening of their work visa programmes, the Indian government said that it was consulting both foreign governments and other stakeholders to assess the impact on its outwardly mobile skilled workforce, The Economic Times reported.
The US administration headed by president Donald Trump had signed a new executive order this Tuesday aimed at curbing misuse of H-1B visas and protecting jobs of American nationals.
Following cues from the US, the Australian government headed by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull too scrapped the '457 visa' and will replace it with two separate merit-based professional visa programmes, AFP reported.
Responding to the latest developments in the work visa programmes announced by the US and Australia, the Indian government has said the changes in visa programmes will have negligible impact on Indian workers.
“Senior Australian officials have conveyed to us that the impact of the changes will be negligible on Indian workers, most of whom fall in high skill category," the news report said quoting Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay, as saying.
According to Reuters report dated April 19, Trump ordered a review of the US visa programme for bringing high-skilled foreign workers into the country, putting technology firms and the outsourcing companies that serve them on notice that possible changes may be ahead.
The H-1B visas are the most sought after work visas by the Indian nationals and it's the largest group of H-1B recipients annually.
Presently, the US government uses a lottery to award 65,000 visas every year and randomly distributes another 20,000 to graduate student workers.
The Economic Times report citing Baglay further said that the cap on the US H-1B visas had remained the same since 2004.
“Insofar as H-1B visas are concerned, the cap has remained at 65,000 since December 2004 when the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 was enacted by the US Congress,“ the report said quoting Baglay as saying.
Australia's '457 visa' allows businesses facing skills shortages to employ labour from overseas, but has been slammed by unions amid claims that bosses were abusing it and local workers were missing out, cited the AFP report on Tuesday.
"The '457 visa' is abolished. It will be replaced by a new system that will be manifestly, rigorously, resolutely conducted in the national interest to put Australians and Australian jobs first," the AFP report said quoting Turnbull, as saying.
"That's our commitment. Australian jobs, Australian values," Turbull added.
Further stating on the US government's review of H-1B visa, The Economic Times report citing Baglay said “It should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers."