Senate probe will review 457 and other work visas

THE Abbott government opposed a Senate probe into the nation's 457 visa, working holiday and student visa programs.

A Senate inquiry moved by Labor and supported by most of the crossbench was approved by the Senate on Tuesday to investigate potential rorting and sham labour contract outfits manipulating the visa program.

The inquiry will examine the integrity of the 457 visa program and all other visas with working conditions attached, including student and working holiday visas. It will also investigate potential exploitation of visa holders on farms and in other workplaces and the effects on regional areas with high unemployment.

But Assistant Immigration Minister Senator Michaelia Cash opposed the inquiry on Tuesday.

She told the Senate the government would not support the "politically motivated" motion in part because the government recently completed its own review of the 457 visa program and found no evidence of rorts.