A recent investigation by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has shown the suspected number of Australian employers in breach of their 457 visa obligations to be wildly inaccurate, with only a fraction of the cases confirmed as legitimate.

The Australian reported that of the 1267 employers of 457 visa-holders under investigation, only 25 were deemed to be in serious breach of their obligations.

The findings have significantly reduced the credibility of anti-457 campaigns run by sections of the union movement, which have attempted to demonise skilled foreign workers in the past.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash described the former Government’s allegations as irresponsible.

“The politically motivated allegations of widespread rorting within the 457 program are exaggerated claims and made by those who want to see the program ended,” she said.

“The Coalition government will not engage in the divisive, ugly politics which seeks to ­demonise skilled migrants in Australia — a concerted campaign that started under the former Labor government and is being continued by sections of the union movement.’’

Migration Solutions Managing Director, Mark Glazbrook, said the findings were a huge win for the migration industry.

“Such negative and unfounded comments deliberately undermine the public perception of the 457 visa and the importance of this program to the broader Australian economy,” he said.

“It is important to remember that only 1% of the total Australian workforce hold a 457 visa and given the type of work that most visa holders are doing, this is not a significant number.

“Whilst I agree that the integrity of the 457 program is vitally important, I would prefer to see some acknowledgements made regarding the overall and widespread benefits that 457 visa holders contribute to Australia.”

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