Australia’s Worker Visa Abolished: What Does It Mean for Tech? (TEAM, INFY)
The ’removed’ list doesn’t include the tech occupations
that are among the biggest users of 457 visas – software and applications programmers (9,111 since 2014), ICT business and systems analysts (3,941 since 2014), ICT support and test engineers (1,503 since 2014) and ICT managers (1,664 since 2014).
“ICT is Australia’s fastest growing sector – growing at a rate of 2 per cent compared to 1.4 per cent per annum growth for the workforce as a whole – yet we are still losing
skilled workers to a globally competitive market,” said The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) in a statement as a response to the recent change.
(See also: The H-1B Visa Issue Explained)
Since the government made the announcement about the visa policy change, there has been
an outcry from the Australian tech industry that complains of a talent shortage.
The only caveat is that ICT project managers, software testers, ICT systems test engineers,
and ICT support engineers need to have had at least two years experience in the occupation before they arrive to work in Australia.
The Australian Population Research Institute found
that 76 percent of 457 visas for IT occupations go to Indian nationals and a large majority of them are sponsored by Indian IT service companies, like Infosys (INFY) and Tata Consultancy Services, as intra-company transfers.
Their success here also means that they are in a good position to provide clients with the low cost option of moving the operations they have installed
to their offshore offices,” wrote the Australian Population Research Institute authors in a report titled “Immigration Overflow: Why It Matters.”
The 457 visa, which like the American H-1B visa was sponsored by employers, will be replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.