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Mar 19, 2008
Abuse of Australia’s Skilled Immigration Program
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Skilled workers are highly in-demand in Australia nowadays and so many Filipinos are eager to grab the opportunity. However, so many people dreams of landing a job in Australia that sometimes taking time to ensure that you will enjoy proper working conditions in your host country are ignored.

 

If you are a skilled worker with a job offer in Australia, it is advisable that you study the provisions stated in your contract. Many companies in Australia are hiring skilled foreign workers via the Visa 457 scheme or the employer nominated temporary residence visas for Australia

 

The Visa 457 was set up by the Howard government and allows Australian employers to bring in foreign workers to Australia. The problem with this skilled immigration system is that it mainly works for the benefit of the employer and has provisions that put the workers to a disadvantage.

 

For one, the 457 visa program compels the workers to sign individual contracts and pay dubious fees for immigration expenses. They are also offered a salary lower than their Australian counterparts and face the risk of being deported if they question their conditions. 

 

 Many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been victimized by Visa 457. They are forced to sign blank documents and were charged with very expensive immigration fees. They are also obliged to live in an overpriced house that slices off a big chunk out of their monthly salary. The 457 Visa also makes it difficult to transfer to a new employer as it requires them to return to their home country first.

 

Overseas workers are more easily exploited because they are at the mercy of their employers. They cannot join their fellow workers in industrial action or standing up for their rights without fear of being fired and forced to leave the country.

 

 One organization, the Australian Manufacturing Worker’s Union (AMWU) fights the unfair provisions of the Visa 457 and assist exploited workers. They defend the rights of their members to receive proper salary and be given decent working conditions. Overseas workers need to have the same rights, the same pay, and the same conditions as their Australian co-workers.

 

For assistance on 457 visa, you can contact the AMWU Helpdesk at +61 2 8863 7900 or send an email at amwu@amwu.asn.au. You can also call a local number 421-1049 and ask for Australia 457 visa assistance.


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