Precarious experiences of Indians in Australia on 457 temporary work visas

Selvaraj Velayutham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The study of temporary skilled migration in Australia is relatively new. As a rapidly emerging source of labour and settlers for Australia's immigration programme, temporary skilled migration will have a major and potentially long-lasting impact on Australia. Since the mid-1990s, temporary skilled migration (under the subclass 457 visa programme) has overtaken permanent migration to Australia. India is now the largest and fastest growing source of temporary skilled migrants. This is a major new development in Australian migration history; yet, to date, there has been little qualitative research into the subjective experiences, motivations and settlement patterns of Indian temporary skilled migrants in Australia, from the perspective of the migrant. This article presents findings from a 3-year qualitative study on the experiences of temporary skilled migrants from India living and working in Australia. It argues that many of the quantitative studies on this topic fail to offer a nuanced reading of these workers' experiences in Australia, in particular, their situations of vulnerability engendered by the recruitment process, visa conditions, unlawful employment practices and living arrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-361
Number of pages22
JournalEconomic and Labour Relations Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


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