Australia is set to abolish the temporary work visa, in order to replace it with a new programme requiring better job skills.
The 457 visa has been popular with many Irish people over the years, and has allowed thousand of Irish to enter Australia since 1996.
Although the changes will not affect anyone now in Australia on a 457 visa, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, "Our reforms will have a simple focus: Australian jobs and Australian values" in a Facebook announcement.
"We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains - Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs. We'll no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians."
"We are bringing the 457 visa class to an end. It's lost its credibility," Turnbull said at a press conference in Canberra.
The 457 visa, which is currently used by approximately 95,000 foreign workers, will be replaced by a new temporary visa - and the list of occupations that qualify for a visa will be significantly reduced.
The new visa will also be limited to a two-year period, and a second four-year visa will require a higher standard of the English language.
This news has come as blow to Irish people, as thousands have availed, and hoped to avail of the 457 visa in future. See how people are reacting on Twitter:
— aoife-grace moore. (@aoifegracemoore) April 18, 2017
Bad news for many young Irish people in Australia on this visa: https://t.co/zaBvi22moz
— Colm O'Dwyer (@colmfod) April 18, 2017
— Stephen Murphy (@stevemur67) April 18, 2017
The end of 457 visas will be exceedingly bad for Australia.
— joannejacobs (@joannejacobs) April 18, 2017
I have had 2 staff on 457 visas......so what's wrong with it fast tracking them to PR. great people great for Australia ?? #457Visa who
— red wombat (@redwombat101) April 18, 2017
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