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Australia's new visa rules unlikely to affect Indian professionals

Harinder Sidhu.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Australia’s new visa rules will not affect Indians as feared, said Australian High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu.

“Majority of Indian skilled workers coming to Australia on this visa are in IT. It is a sector in Australia where skills are in short supply,” said Ms. Sidhu while speaking at the Indian Women Press Corps on Tuesday.

 

Last month Australia scrapped the 457 temporary visa scheme for skilled workers and replaced it with two new visas with tougher requirements. This caused considerable concern in India which gets a major chunk of these visas.

Following this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed India’s concern to his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull over the telephone.

Stating that the move was driven by “domestic concerns,” Ms. Sidhu said, "Indians are very likely to continue to qualify to the new requirements." However she added, "I cannot categorically say what will happen in future."

She also said that there were other avenues for Indians to enter Australia other than the professional category.

Strategic cooperation

As reported by The Hindu, Australia has proposed a logistics support agreement with India and has also requested to be an observer in the Malabar naval exercises in July which included India, Japan and the US.

Ms. Sidhu made a strong pitch for such an agreement and said they discussions were work in progress.

“We already share logistics on an ad-hoc basis. It is also very costly… I see that as a natural extension as we do more and more exercises,” she said in response to a question from The Hindu.

Japan and U.S. have already stated that they are open to Australia’s inclusion but it is India which has been reluctant so far. The planning conferences for upcoming exercises are underway and a formal response to Canberra’s request could be expected soon.

Earlier in the day addressing senior officers at the National Defence College (NDC), Ms. Sidhu stressed on the need to establish a range of bilateral, trilateral, quadrilateral and small group mechanisms which she said would enable to respond to challenges and threats quickly and effectively.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 2:35:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/australias-new-visa-rules-unlikely-to-affect-indian-professionals/article18416253.ece

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