If you sponsor an employee under a TSS 482 visa, you owe certain obligations to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA). It is crucial that you comply with these obligations. For example, you must :

  • cooperate 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-citizens;
  • keep records;
  • provide records and information to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs (‘the Minister’);
  • provide information to the DOHA when certain events occur;
  • ensure the sponsored employee works only in the occupation you nominated;
  • not recover certain costs from a sponsored employee; and
  • not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.

In this article, we set out how you should comply with your obligations under the 482 visa and the penalties you may face if you fail to do so. 

1. Cooperate With Inspectors

The Australian Border Force can investigate a sponsor if issues arise around their compliance with the sponsorship framework. Accordingly, Border Force inspectors have powers to: 

  • enter premises; 
  • inspect work; 
  • interview people; and 
  • request specific documents to aid their investigation. 

As the sponsor, you must cooperate with investigators throughout this process.

2. Ensure Equivalent Terms and Conditions of Employment

You must ensure that the:

  • sponsored person’s annual earnings are not less than what was approved in the nomination;
  • sponsored person’s annual earnings are not less than what an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident would earn for performing equivalent work, in the same workplace and at the same location; and
  • employment conditions are not less favourable than those that apply to an Australian citizen or permanent resident performing equivalent work, in the same workplace and at the same location.

3. Pay Travel Costs to Enable Sponsored Persons to Leave Australia

You must pay reasonable and necessary travel costs to allow the sponsored employee to leave Australia. Either the DOHA or the sponsored employee must request the travel costs in writing.

For example, reasonable and necessary costs include:

  • travel from the sponsored employee’s usual place of residence in Australia to the place of departure from Australia (for example, from their apartment to the airport);
  • travel from Australia to the country where the employee has a passport; and
  • economy class air travel.

In this case, it is reasonable for you to pay the costs within 30 days of receiving the request.

4. Pay Costs the Commonwealth Incurs to Locate and Remove an Unlawful Non-Citizen

The Minister can request payment for costs that the Commonwealth incurs in locating and removing a sponsored employee from Australia. In practice, this means that you must pay the Commonwealth the difference between the actual costs incurred by the Commonwealth and any amount you have already paid to enable the sponsored employee and dependents to leave Australia.

5. Keep Records

You must keep records of your compliance with all sponsorship obligations. As well as this, you should keep:

  • a copy of the sponsored employee’s employment contract and records of tasks the employee has performed in the nominated occupation. 
  • a record of the location of the employee’s employment and your annual turnover. 

You must keep these records for five years. 

6. Provide Records and Information to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

You may receive a written request from the Minister to provide certain information.

For example, the Minister can request information that helps to determine whether you are, or have been, complying with a sponsorship obligation.

If this occurs, you must provide the records on request within the set timeframe.

7. Provide Information to DOHA When Certain Events Occur

You must inform the DOHA when certain changes in circumstances take place.

For example, this includes where:

  • the sponsored employee either stops working or does not start employment with you;
  • there is a change in the sponsored employee’s work duties;
  • your business ceases to operate or there is a significant change to the business (for example, a new company director or a change to your business structure);
  • your business becomes insolvent; or
  • you change your address or contact details.

8. Ensure Sponsored Employee Works Only in the Nominated Occupation

You must ensure that the sponsored employee works in the occupation you specified in their most recently approved nomination form. Importantly, you must not recruit a visa holder or applicant in order to supply or on-hire that person to a non-associated business.

9. Not Recover Certain Costs From a Sponsored Employee

You cannot recover certain costs from a sponsored employee.

For example, the types of costs you cannot recover include costs:

  • associated with becoming or being a sponsor or former sponsor;
  • associated with a nomination for a visa; and
  • relating to the recruitment of the sponsored employee for the subclass 457 or 482 nominations.

10. Not Engage in Discriminatory Recruitment Practices

Sponsors are required to use the subclass 457 or 482 visa programmes to fill skill shortages where they are unable to find a suitable Australian worker. Accordingly, you must not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.

For example, discriminatory recruitment practices include:

  • only interviewing or hiring people of certain citizenship or visa status; and
  • advertising a position via foreign language websites accessed mainly by people outside Australia.

Sanctions

If you breach your obligations as a sponsor, DOHA may take a number of actions against you. For example, these actions include:

  • issuing a formal warning;
  • barring you from sponsoring further employees;
  • cancelling your approval status;
  • agreeing to a legally enforceable undertaking;
  • serving an infringement notice; and
  • applying to a court for a civil penalty order.

Key Takeaways

As an employer who sponsors employees under a subclass 482 visa, you face several strict obligations. It is essential that you understand these obligations. This is because failing to comply with them may lead to serious consequences. If you need help with ensuring that your business is compliant with these obligations, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page. 

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Rowan ONeill
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