Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced today that Australia will stop the temporary 457 visa program that allows foreigners to live and work in the country for up to four years. The visa program has been criticized for allowing businesses to use the program to replace Australian workers with cheaper foreign labor.

The 457 visa will be replaced by a new, stricter program that will require a criminal background check and tougher English language requirements. The list of occupations that would qualify for this new visa will also be severely reduced.

"We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains: Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs," Turnbull said in a Facebook video announcing the change.

This policy change will not affect the 95,000 foreign workers already in Australia on the 457 visa.

"It is focused relentlessly on the national interest and in ensuring that temporary migration visas are not a passport for foreigners to take up jobs that could and should be filled by Australians," Turnbull told reporters.


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Updated: Mon, May 8th 2017 @ 11:50am EDT