23 August 2007

Australia protects jobs for skilled immigrants

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The Australian government has underlined its commitment to attracting skilled workers through its Australian visa schemes by tightening the rules on illegal workers to protect jobs for official immigrants.

New federal laws cracking down on employers using illegal workers took effect this week. It is now a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly employ a person who is either illegally in Australia or is working in breach of their visa conditions.

Minster for Immigration and Citizenship, Kevin Andrews, said: "The Coalition government is committed to helping Australian employers find eligible and legal workers from overseas."

The new laws apply to employers, employment agencies, labour hire companies and other people who recruit workers. This move comes immediately after the rule changes increasing the ability of native English-speaking skilled workers from countries such as the UK.

The result is that Australia's immigration laws now protect skilled jobs for people who receive an Australian visa and have come to Australia to build a new life.

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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