In 2015 a bill affecting sponsorship-related 457 visas had its second reading in parliament. This bill, if it passes, will make it illegal to pay for, receive, offer, or ask for payment for sponsorship-related 457 visas.
The bill is called The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Bill 2015.
The Bill makes it illegal to:
- ask for payment or other benefits
- receive payment or other benefits
- offer or provide payment or other benefits
in return for being sponsored or nominated for a 457 or other prescribed visa.
If a someone who holds a visa has done any of the above, the Bill allows for possible visa cancellation. This is known as ‘Payment for Visas’ conduct.
Criminal punishment includes prison or fines
If a sponsor, or other person, asks for or receives a benefit from a sponsorship-related event, they can be punished by up to 2 years in prison. Alternatively, they can be fined up to $64,000 for an individual person, or $324,000 for a body corporate.
Civil punishment includes fines only
The penalties that apply to the sponsor, visa applicant or other third party who does any of the above, will be fines up to $43,200 for an individual person or $216,000 for a body corporate.
And in addition, visas can be cancelled.
A discretionary power to consider visa cancellation will be introduced. It will apply where there is any person who engages in this conduct.
If you might be in a situation like this, please call us as soon as possible.
Get advice before the Bill becomes law so you know ahead of time what you can do and what your obligations will be. Contact us now » »
This article was updated on 21 January 2016.