25 July 2008

Immigration Minister praises rises in Australian visa numbers

Senator Chris Evans announced recently the number of Australian visas increased by 24 per cent in the past year. The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has said the increase in numbers taking part in the temporary workers scheme shows how important Australian immigration is to the country, and is praising the success of the scheme in filling labour shortages around the country.

He added that conditions for people holding a temporary Australian visa will improve from the start of August, with wages increasing by 3.8 per cent, the first change in two years. "The Government will also introduce new laws to help prevent the exploitation of migrant workers and ensure the wages and conditions of Australian workers are not undercut," he said.

The figures released found New South Wales was the biggest user of the temporary Australian visa system, having granted 20,480 in the 2007-08 period. They also showed a quarter of the visa holders to the country came from the UK, followed by India, the Philippines, South Africa, China and the US.

The Minister recently announced plans to make the Australian immigration system more flexible in order to meet skills shortages in the country.

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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