New Law Prohibits Receiving Benefit for Sponsorship
Written By Michael Walker
Wed, Feb 3, 2016
Enacted into law, effective 14 December 2015, new criminal and civil penalties now apply, as well as possible visa cancellation, which may be imposed on a person who asks for, receives, offers or provides a benefit, in return for a visa sponsorship or employment (which requires a visa sponsorship), referred to under the Migration Act (the Act) of Australia, as a ‘sponsorship - related event’.
Sections 245AQ and 245AR of the Act, provides the power to the Immigration Minister, to issue civil or criminal penalties to those persons who may be found to be in contravention of the Act. The new law is also codified in the relevant Migration Regulations, which govern the various sub-classes of visas, requiring employer sponsorship. These are as follows:
• 457 visas
• Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) permanent residency visas - sub-class 186
• Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) permanent residency visas - sub-class 187
• Long Stay Activity Visas - sub-class 401.
• Training and Research Visas (Research Steam) -sub-class 402.
• Entertainment Visas - sub-class 420.
• Super Yacht Crew Visas - sub-class 488.
Benefit is defined as follows:
(a) a payment or other valuable consideration; and
(b) a deduction of an amount; and
(c) any kind of real or personal property; and
(d) an advantage; and
(e) a service; and
(f) a gift.
Accordingly, from 14 December 2015, sponsors, nominators and visa applicants are required to make a mandatory declaration in relation to the above. A failure to do so would render nomination and visa applications invalid.
For those applications which are lodged online, the required declarations will be incorporated into the online forms in early 2016. For those applications which are paper-based, a form must be completed and signed and be included with the paper-based application, at the time of lodgement.
Should you require more information, please contact one of our registered consultants at TSS Immigration.
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