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Employer compliance with 457 sponsorship conditions

The contents of this article are correct as at 25 August 2011.

As a sponsor under the 457 scheme, an employer has a valuable recruitment tool, namely the ability to sponsor and employ overseas workers.

Sponsorship approval also carries with it a series of significant obligations.

In September 2009, DIAC introduced civil penalties for employers of 457 visa holders who breach sponsorship obligations.

DIAC recently announced increased reliance on the imposition of civil penalties as a compliance mechanism.

Employers found breaching sponsorship obligations face formal sanctions for each breach, including:

  • Cancellation of sponsorship
  • A bar on sponsoring people for457 visas
  • A bar on lodging any future sponsorship applications
  • A fine of up to $6,600 for a corporation and $1,320 for an individual
  • A civil penalty of up to $33,000 for a corporation and $6,600 for an individual

It is important for employers of 457 visa holders to be aware of their sponsorship obligations and ensure compliance with them. The obligations include:

  • Coopertae with inspectors
  • Ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment
  • Pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia
  • Pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth to locate and remove unlawful non-citizen
  • Keep records
  • Provide records and information to the Minister
  • Ensure primary sponsored person does not work in an occupation other than an approved occupation
  • Not to recover certain costs from a primary sponsored person or secondary sponsored person         

Dealing with DIAC requests for evidence of compliance with the above requires careful legal assistance to ensure that DIAC’s concerns can be addressed in a way that does not affect the employer’s entitlement to sponsor 457 visa holders.

We have advised many employers about internal policies and procedures that employers can put in place in order to ensure compliance with their obligations.

We would be happy to assist with any enquiries you have regarding employment sponsorship obligations under the 457 visa program. Please click Visa Lawyers Australia to contact us.