PM Modi Calls on Australian Counterpart Over Banning of Work Visas

Australian PM Turnbull had announced the decision to abolish the 457 visa, which is being largely used by Indians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conveyed to his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull India's concerns about the impact of the recent decision to abolish a popular work visa used by a majority of Indians.

Modi conveyed the concerns during a phone call initiated by Turnbull, a PMO statement said.

"Prime Minister Modi expressed concern about the possible impact of the recent changes in Australian regulations for the skilled professionals' visa programme," the statement said.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that officials from both sides will remain in close touch on the issue, it added.

About three weeks back, Turnbull had announced his decision to abolish the 457 visa, which allows businesses to hire foreign workers for up to four years in skilled jobs.

Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime MinisterWe are an immigration nation, but the fact remains: Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing the 457 visa.

A large chunk of those using the visa programme are Indians.

During the telephonic conversation, Turnbull thanked Modi for the success of his recent visit to India.

"The two Prime Ministers also discussed the follow-up action taken after Turnbull’s visit to India last month, and the steps required to further strengthen the bilateral relationship," the PMO statement said.

The Quint, in an earlier story, had spoken to a few Indian students living in Australia regarding the move to scrap the 457 visa. With the measure generating a feeling of cluelessness among them, these students did admit to being disappointed by it.

(With PTI inputs)