Holding Standard Business Sponsors to Public Account

Standard Business Sponsors who fail to meet their sponsorship obligations could find information regarding their breach published by the Minister.  The Enhanced Integrity Act 2018 has received Royal Assent.  Meaning the legislation will come into effect on the day of proclamation or on the day following 6 months from the day of Royal Assent, which would be 1 March 2019.   If this causes you any concern, speak to our visa specialist and  Migration Agent in PerthSydneyMelbourne or Brisbane to discuss your sponsorship application.

This Act contains parts which amends the Migration Act 1958.

Part 1 – Public disclosure of sanctions

The Minister may publish information, including personal information, about an approved sponsor or former sponsor who has failed to meet the applicable sponsorship obligations.  There is no requirement for the Minister to observe natural justice rules in publishing this information and no civil liabilities can arise from the publication, in good faith, of such information.

This amendment applies to actions taken under s140K of the Act, on or after 18 March 2015

This should not concern any Standard Business Sponsors who are actively ensuring they met their sponsorship obligations.   It would be prudent however,  to review the sponsorship obligations and to ensure that someone within your company is responsible for reporting any notifiable events  and that all other sponsorship obligations are being met and monitored within your organisation.

Information outlining Standard Business Sponsorship Obligations can be found here.

Part 3 – Tax file numbers

This amendment allows the Secretary to request the tax file number (TFN) of an applicant, visa holder or former visa holder and to disclose this TFN to the Commissioner of Taxation for the purpose of verifying the TFN.

The Commissioner of Taxation may also provide to the Secretary the TFN of a relevant person.

The TFN may be requested from:

  • the applicant, visa holder or former visa holder
  • approved sponsor of the applicant, visa holder or former visa holder
  • a former approved sponsor of the applicant, visa holder or former visa holder
  • the nominator of an applicant or visa holder where the approved nomination has not ceased
  • the nominator of a visa holder or former visa holder where the approved nomination has ceased under the regulations

This information may be used, recorded or disclosed by an officer for any purposes prescribed by the regulations.

This amendment applies to requests for a TFN or use of this TFN after this item commence.

The reason for obtaining TFNs for visa applicants is fairly self evident.  The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will cross reference salary information provided by an approved sponsor for a particular nomination against the salary reported to the Australian Taxation Office.    If the salary is lower than the salary indicated in the nomination it may trigger an investigation by DHA.

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