Fragomen offers visa advice to employers
4 June 2015 | Fragomen Media Release
On 1 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Australia Customs will join into a single Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Within this new consolidated Department, Australian Border Force (ABF) has been formed and is an amalgamation of the frontline border operations of the immigration and customs' portfolios.
While much of the media coverage of the new Department has focused on the national security and border protection implications of the ABF, the new law enforcement agency is also tasked to investigate compliance with corporate sponsorship obligations of the 457 visa program (the major program used by employers to bring in skilled foreign staff) and legal obligations to other sponsored temporary visa holders. For example, Taskforce Cadena, a new joint operation from the Department with other agencies such as the Fair Work Ombudsman and the ATO has already commenced operations to investigate ‘incidents of exploitation and visa fraud’.
The increased law enforcement focus of the Department of Immigration highlights the need for employers in Australia or seeking to establish operations in Australia, to ensure they have an understanding of the legal obligations towards all visa holder employees and contractors working on their site and to also have appropriate processes and safeguards in place to maintain compliance with sponsorship obligations and to verify the work entitlements of visa holders.
Fragomen is actively involved in assisting clients with monitoring requests by both the Department of Immigration and Fair Work Ombudsman and the Brisbane Monitoring Section of the Department of Immigration has been particularly active over the past 12 months in investigating compliance with statutory obligations of Queensland businesses in relation to visa holders. For both established businesses utilising foreign labour and companies looking to start operations in Brisbane, it is increasingly important to ensure a full understanding of legal obligations and what is required to maintain compliance with immigration laws. In addition to the local experience of our Brisbane practice, Fragomen also has a national Advisory and Compliance Practice that routinely assist clients with migration population audits, workplace migration law training, reviews of compliance processes and responses to monitoring requests.
Practice Leader, Fragomen
P: +61 7 3004 0586