Monitoring of Sponsors and Visa Holders

At the time of standard business sponsorship approval, it has been made very clear that sponsors must comply with the sponsor’s obligations  set out for sponsoring TSS 482 visa and subclass 494 visa.

However there are occasions when these obligations are not completely observed by sponsors/employers. Or sometimes there may be adverse information received about the sponsor or someone associated with the sponsor or the company.

When this happens the sponsors are maybe subject to the Immigration Department’s monitoring or penalty. 

What is adverse information?

The following happenings or acts may be considered as adverse information for a sponsor:

  • Failure to meet the sponsorship obligations as set out by the Government;
  • The sponsor has been found guilty by a court of an offence;
  • The sponsor has been found to have contravened the law by a competent authority, such as using unlawful citizens or those who do not have to work right to work;
  • The sponsor has been the subject of administrative action, including being issued a warning, by the Australian Border Force;
  • The sponsor is being investigated for any wrong doings;
  • The sponsor has been subject to disciplinary or legal action;
  • Receive benefits or money in return for visa sponsorship. This includes situations where a person pays the employer, or a deduction is made from their salary, or the person provides any other benefits to the employer;

In case any of the above occurs, the sponsor’s status of sponsorship will be adversely affected.

How adverse information affects the sponsorship?

If a sponsor is unlucky to be singled out for monitoring, and they are found to have adverse information confirmed by the relevant authority, the Department of Home Affairs or the Australian Border Force may take the following actions against the sponsor:

  • Raise doubts about whether an employer is suitable to be a sponsor;
  • The Government may trace back to the last 3 years for anything unfavourable to the sponsor;
  • The Government may refuse the sponsor’s application to become an approved sponsor;
  • The Government may refuse the sponsor’s application to sponsor or nominate a visa applicant;
  • If the employer is already an approved sponsor, the sponsorship may be cancelled;

What other Sanctions that may be imposed?

If sponsors do not meet their obligations, one or more of the following actions may be taken by the Government:

Administrative Penalty

The Government might:

  • bar the sponsor from sponsoring additional visa holders for a specified time;
  • not approve the application for sponsorship for this or any other visa;
  • cancel all of the existing sponsorship approvals;

Enforceable undertakings may be required from the sponsor to promise, in writing, to undertake to complete certain actions to show that the failures have been rectified and won’t happen again.

Civil Penalty

The Government may also:

  • Issue an infringement notice of up to:AUD1,332 for individuals and AUD6,660 for bodies corporate per obligation breach for a first notice OR AUD2,664 for individuals and AUD13,320 for bodies corporate per obligation breach for subsequent notices;
  • Apply to a court for a civil penalty order of up to AUD66,000 for a corporation and AUD13,320 for an individual for each failure;

In addition, a sponsor could also have sanctions imposed if:

  • they provide false or misleading information to us or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
  • they no longer satisfy the criteria for approval as a sponsor or for variation of a term of that approval;
  • they have been found by a court or competent authority to have contravened a Commonwealth, state or territory law;
  • the person they have sponsored breaks a law relating to the licensing, registration or membership needed to work in the nominated position;

The types of actions that could be taken depend on whether you are a standard business sponsor or have a work agreement with the Government.

If you have sponsored someone under a work agreement, the Department could suspend or terminate the agreement in accordance with the clauses of the particular work agreement.