Businesses intending to sponsor an overseas worker to work in Australia, should be aware that new criminal and civil penalties have been introduced under The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Act 2015 to prevent persons offering or receiving a benefit in exchange for a wide range of work visa sponsorship activities.
The following sponsored visas are affected by this legislation:
- Temporary Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) Visas
- Permanent Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visas
- Permanent Subclass 187 Regional Skilled Migration Scheme Visas
- Subclass 401 (Temporary Work Long Stay Activity) Visas
- Subclass 402 (Training and Research) Visas
Anyone who requests or receives a benefit from a migration outcome is captured by the criminal and civil regime and the terms “benefit” and “migration outcome” are both defined broadly to cover all possible situations.
The legislation is framed widely to capture not only the parties to the employment relationship but any person acting as agent who receives benefit.
Civil and criminal liability exists for businesses and executive officers (Directors, CEOs, CFO and Company Secretaries) who are reckless or negligent as to whether payment for visa activities occurred, are in a position to influence the activities of the business and failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent such activity.
For further information or clarification of the new legislation please contact our Esef Mirascija MARN No. 0000959.