14 May 2008

Australian government gives £9.4bn to improve temporary visa scheme

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The Australian government has pledged AU$19.6 billion (approx £9.4 billion) to improve the temporary skilled immigration scheme, following an increase in the number of migrants entering the country on this type of visa. It is estimated that 50,000 foreign workers will enter the country on this type of Australian visa in the first half of this year, compared to 39,500 last year, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, told the newspaper that a government group would work on developing the temporary skilled worker program and that they would confer with industry bodies and unions on the issue.

Mr Evans has previously announced plans to improve the country's temporary immigration programme, in particular making changes to the subclass 457 Australian visa. Included in the changes are plans to create centres of excellence in three Australian cities. The number of immigrants entering Australia on these type of visas each year for 2008 and next year is set to exceed 100,000.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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