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The relevance of the 457-temporary skilled work visa for Indian IT firms operating in Australia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Parth PatelORCiD


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Over the past decade, Australia’s skilled migration program has allowed several Indian IT companies to use the 457-temporary skilled work visa to bring skilled workers from India to deliver IT services to their Australian clients. However, the Australian government’s recent decision to abolish the 457 visa to curb the influx of foreign workers has forced Indian IT firms to reassess their approach in their ability to continue using temporary labour to perform skilled IT work in Australia. This study explores the relevance of the 457-temporary skilled work visa, and in general, the Australian skilled migration program has for Indian IT firms operating in Australia. Drawing on Iredale’s (2001) skilled migration typology, data from qualitative interviews, gathered from senior managers of multiple case studies of Indian IT firms in Australia. This study found that the 457-temporary skilled visa program served an important purpose for Indian IT firms as it allowed them to use their flexible and client-centric business model to transfer skilled labour from India to work on Australian customer sites in a cost-effective manner. As Indian IT firms in Australia struggled with the perception of poor brand image and lack of global reputation, they found it hard to hire local talented IT workers to perform the IT work. This study contributes to our understanding of the important role that the 457-temporary skilled work visa plays in multinational corporations that are engaged in the practice of body-shopping. The implications relate to the utilisation and the exploitation of this visa program.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Patel P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 32nd Annual Associations of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) Conference

Year of Conference: 2018

Acceptance date: 17/10/2017

Series Title: Jobs and Change in Uncertain Times

Sponsor(s): University of Adelaide