Immigration Department Data Shows Number of Work Visas in Australia Continue to Climb

The number of visitors to Australia with work rights continues to soar, despite the nation's worsening job outlook.

Herald Sun, by John Masanauskas, 3 February 2014

New Immigration Department data show that the number of New Zealanders on special visas has risen to 625,000 while there has been a 10 per cent jump in young foreigners on working holidays to almost 180,000, as of December 31 last year.

With the nation's unemployment rate climbing towards 6 per cent, there was a 7.6 per cent spike in numbers for the controversial 457 skilled visa to 170,000.

Student visa numbers rose by 6.4 per cent to 257,000 while there was a 6 per cent jump in the total number of temporary entrants in Australia to 1.82 million, according to the report Temporary Entrants and New Zealand Citizens in Australia.

It revealed that the working holiday program was dominated by youth from the UK, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and France.

The number one country for the 457 visa was the UK, followed by India, Ireland, Philippines and the US.

Victorian federal Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has criticised the open-ended migration of NZ citizens and aspects of skilled migration, claiming local jobs are under threat.

Mr Thomson recently formed the grassroots lobby group Victoria First, which wants immigration slashed to improve liveability and protect the environment.

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