India making 'full assessment' of changes in H1B visa regulations: MEA

Prospective Australian citizens will need to pass a standalone English test, demonstrate a commitment to Australia and have been a permanent resident for four years, under changes announced Thursday.

Don't you dare fail the third time in the citizenship test. Applicants will not be allowed to fail the citizenship test more than three times.

Australia has abolished a visa programme - 457 visa - used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment in the country.

"We must ensure that our citizenship program is conducted in our national interest".

At present, citizenship applicants sit a 20-question test and must correctly answer at least 75 per cent. Our citizenship process should reflect that.

"It will have zero impact on providing job opportunities for young Australians in the region - we are shooting ourselves in the foot", Mr Lyden said.

A more stringent English language test will also be introduced, which will include "reading, writing and listening" components.

"We are entitled to say if you want to be a citizen of Australia, there are a few things that we want you to demonstrate that you share", Turnbull added.

"What we want to make sure is where there are long and enduring skills shortages in Australia, that Australians are being trained to do that work".

A new temporary visa will replace the programme and last between two or four years, which Mr Turnbull said will "better target" skilled workers.

"The announcement implicitly accuses people who want to live in Australia of being more likely to abuse their wife, not learn English, and engage in crime", GetUp human rights director Shen Narayanasamy said in a statement.

Applicants will be asked to show steps they have taken to "integrate into and contribute to" the Australian community, such as membership of community organisations and evidence of employment and school enrolment.

"Let's remember that these (domestic violence) are criminal acts that are proscribed by Australia's criminal law".

"I believe [these changes] will be empowering for the applicant", said Turnbull. Are they employing mature aged workers who have found themselves out of a job elsewhere?' he said on the Nine Network.

"We think there needs to be a real tightening of the temporary work migration visa".

But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton questioned Atlassian's role in the local market.

Further details about the new test are expected to be announced later today.

  • Anthony Vega