If you don’t comply with your visa conditions, there are many ways it can catch up with you. If you are forewarned you can make better decisions before any potential breaches take place. As registered migration agents, we receive inquiries from visa holders who have already breached their current or prior visa conditions and are now looking at further permanent visa options, citizenship applications or sponsorship of family members into Australia. Their past breaches are now catching up with them and often we are unable to assist.
We would prefer you don’t put your future at risk. Below are a few examples of how breaches are detected by DHA.
On 9 January 2019, the Department of Home Affairs announced commenced of a data matching program with the Australian Taxation Office. This program will allow them to check the ABN of all employers and the wages paid to all 457 and 482 temporary employer sponsored visa holders . It is expected this data matching process will cover some 280,000 individuals in the first quarter data exchange. The data exchange will continue periodically throughout the financial year.
The purpose of the data matching program is to identify any visa holders who have or had ceased employment with their sponsor, taken up secondary employment, no longer working full time or commenced work for a new sponsor prior to receiving new nomination approval. Employers who under pay their employees will also be detected.
As DHA have commenced this form of data matching, it is not unreasonable to consider DHA may extend this program to cover 186/187 or 417/462 visa holders in the future. The current data matching program will returning earning information spanning back three years prior to the data matching report date.
The three year history of the data is important. If an applicant is granted a 186 visa, they are required to remain in their nominated occupation with their nominating employer for 2 years after 186 visa grant. If the employment ends, for any reason, during that 2 year period, DHA may investigate and see to cancel their 186 visa. If DHA did extend this program to cover 186 visa holders. Anyone who left their employment within the first 2 years, may receive a notification of intention to cancel their 186 visa. This could happen three years after their permanent visa was granted. Visa applicants and their employers would have an opportunity to respond to the notification of intention to cancel.
Some applicants intend to lodge their citizenship application 12 months after their 186/187 visa is granted, (if they have already spent 4 years in Australia on a temporary visa). However, citizenship application forms required applicants to declare their employment history. This will highlight to DHA any change in employment. DHA are also taking 16 – 20 months to process most conferral applications.
DHA officers conduct routine monitoring. This is where an officer contacts employers and requests evidence of compliance with their sponsorship obligations. Officers can visit employment premises, in person, without notice. They can also request payroll documents.
Some permanent visa holders want to sponsor a family member to Australia, such as a parent or spouse. The family sponsorship form requires sponsors to declare their employment history.
Many permanent visa holders have established strong family and social connections in Australia. Visa cancellation or an inability to sponsor their parents or partner to Australia can be devastating. I urge you to reconsider breaching your visa conditions.
Contact our Migration Agent on 1800 875 285