Compliance and Cessation

What are the key obligations for a sponsoring employer?

Why is Compliance important in the Immigration sphere?

The Australian Government has a far greater focus on compliance than has been the case in previous years.  Recent changes to Australia’s immigration system include enhanced compliance around documentation and character checking for all visa applicants to Australia.

From the corporate point of view employers across Australia are now required to check the legal work rights of all employees and sub-contractors to ensure that they have valid work rights in Australia. 

This may be completed by using your consultant at Visa Solutions Australia who can check on behalf of employers with some basic information about a person who is working for the company.

Employers also need to be far more aware of their obligations in relation to sponsored applicants to ensure that the company does not breach its obligations in relation to sponsored workers through the sub class 457 scheme or any other sponsored visa category.

Q. What are the risks for the employer?

In recent times the key focus for the compliance sections of the Department of immigration is underpayment of wages, exploitation of foreign workers and working excessive hours in breach of Australia’s employment laws.

The penalties for employers who breach their sponsorship obligations are now significant and may extend beyond the “corporate veil” to the Directors of the company and possibly to officers within the business including HR managers and CFOs.

Q. Can other government agencies be involved?

There is significantly more data matching between the Immigration authorities and other relevant agencies within the commonwealth including the departments of Fairwork and the Australian Taxation Office.

Some of the most recent changes to Australia’s immigration legislation relate to charging for a migration outcome which may affect a number of businesses around Australia. 

While still in its formative stages, this may be a concern for smaller businesses which seeks to sponsor foreign workers in the face of local skill shortages or where the business requires skills which are not easily sought or no longer available in Australia. 

Q. What is the requirement to training?

Ensuring that employers also meet their obligations towards training Australians is a key component of the current compliance regime.  I

In many circumstances the employing business is required to meet its training obligations in each of the years for which it is approved as a sponsor for a foreign worker.

Q. How do I cease my obligations as an employer?

There are a number of ways in which an employer can extinguish its obligations in relation to some foreign workers. 

It is common for a person to move to another sponsor which may extinguish some of the sponsorship obligation or alternatively a sponsored foreign person may make an application for Australian permanent residency.

If that is achieved it may result in removal of the sponsorship obligations for the sponsoring employer.

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" I believe migration is the expression of human aspiration – it’s the dignity, the safety, and a better future for all. We are all part of the same human family. "

Annie Vo

>Director - Visa Solutions Vietnam