Jessie Cayanan faced deportation last October after his 457 visa ran out, but has now been granted a Bridging Visa E with work rights. Most Bridging Visa Es don’t come with work rights, so this a minor victory for the campaign to grant him permanent residency.
Jessie lost his job last year after an attempt by his employer to take half his wage in cash, under threat of being sacked and deported if he didn’t comply. 457 visa workers who lose their jobs have just 90 days to find another one or face deportation.
But thanks to a community campaign with support from Migrante Australia, the AMWU and other unions, Jessie has had a temporary stay while the Immigration Department reviews his case, with a decision likely between April and July this year. He has also made a formal appeal to the Immigration Minister.
The case has highlighted the abuse of 457 workers, and their need for permanent residency rights. It is important that unions stand up for workers like Jessie, and demand permanent residency for them, rather using 457 workers as a scapegoat for unemployment. It is not 457 workers who have massacred jobs in the car industry.
Further protests demanding Justice for Jessie in the lead up to his visa decision will help put pressure on the Immigration Department.