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Australian visa move unlikely to impact Indian IT workers: Nasscom

A statement from the Australia high commission said this would be replaced by a new temporary skill shortage work visa by March 2018. However, the current beneficiaries of this programme will be exempted from the new regulations.

Australia has abolished a visa programme - 457 visa - used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment in the country.

In the US, President Donald Trump is expected to sign yet another executive order that will restrict H-1B visas to skilled professionals, one of the most attractive for Indian techies.

The move is seen as a deterrent to Indian IT firms which send software engineers to the United States on H-1B visas. Dutton said there were 95,757 workers in Australia on primary 457 visas and 76,430 secondary visa holders as at September 30 previous year.

According to Axios, a USA media network, "Trump campaigned on making major changes to the H-1B visa program, which many big tech and IT consulting firms use to bring in foreign workers to fill technical jobs".

"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", Baglay said.

The 457 visa scheme in Australia will be replaced by two temporary visas that will impose tougher English language tests, stricter labour market testing, at least two years of work experience and a mandatory police check. "The occupation list for the four year visa includes IT professionals, so there continues to be visa options for skilled Indian nationals".

Baglay also downplayed criticism of the governments foreign policy vis-a-vis job creation, saying the government has facilitated expansion of workforce through its flagship programmes such as Make in India and Skill India as also by delivering large technological partnerships and enhanced Foreign Direct Investment.

The Australian government's move to eliminate the 457 visa category would not have a major impact on visas granted to Indian IT workers, industry body Nasscom said today.

The MEA spokesperson recalled that the government had agreed with the government of France last year to allow Indian students at Masters level and above to extend their stay in that country for two years.

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