In recent times, the Department of Immigration has significantly stepped up its monitoring of subclass 457 sponsors, with the number of sanctions imposed on sponsoring employers increasing by 68%.

The Department of Immigration has very recently made an example out of a Melbourne restaurant by sanctioning the employer for failing to comply with its obligations as a sponsor of a subclass 457 visa holder. As a consequence of the breaches of various obligations, the Department of Immigration:

  1. cancelled the employer’s approval to sponsor foreign workers;
     
  2. placed a 5 year barr on the employer from sponsoring further foreign workers; and
     
  3. handed down a fine to the employer of $15,300.

As you can imagine, a sanction of this type not only has life changing impacts on the visa holder as they can no longer work for the employer, but it can also have a significant impact on the ability of a business to continue operating.

The stringent obligations placed on subclass 457 visa sponsors include, but are not limited to:

  1. ensuring their foreign workers are provided terms and conditions of employment that are equivalent to that provided to an Australian employee;
     
  2. notifying the Department of Immigration of certain changing circumstances;
     
  3. ensuring their foreign workers work in their nominated positions;
     
  4. paying for certain travel costs of their foreign worker;
     
  5. cooperating with compliance officers from the Department of Immigration, for example, by providing the officers with access to the business premises; and
     
  6.  keeping records that show compliance with the obligations.

Importantly, some of these obligations extend past the period of sponsorship approval. Therefore, businesses cannot disregard their obligations simply because they no longer employ foreign workers.

To ensure that your business is not subjected to the Department of Immigration’s significant penalties, it is more important than ever for sponsoring employers to strictly comply with their sponsorship obligations.

If you would like further information about your obligations as a subclass 457 visa sponsor, or if you are considering sponsoring a foreign worker, please contact:

Joanne D’Andrea
Principal
Registered Migration Agent (#9904625)
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8567
E: jdandrea@harwoodandrews.com.au