Malcolm Turnbull abolishes 457 visas

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has today announced the abolishing of 457 visas, and their replacement with another visa class.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Turnbull declares that the move sees the government "putting Australians first."

He also states, "Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs. So we're abolishing the 457 visas, the visas that bring temporary foreign workers into our country. We'll no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians."

“However, it is important businesses still get access to the skills they need to grow and invest, so the 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest.”

The new temporary visa will require workers to have previous work experience, and also involve tougher English language tests and labour market testing requirements.

Both the Liberal and Labor parties have raised in recent years the tightening of issuing 457 visas.

And earlier this year, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton banned the fast-track processing of 457 visas for foreign workers at fast-food outlets.

The latest numbers from the Immigration Department indicate a significant drop in 457 visas holders in Australia in the past year.

Visas were largely issued to workers from India, who made up nearly one quarter of holders, followed by the UK and China at 19.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.