New Legislation Outlaws Payment for Visas

On Wednesday 16 September, the new Turnbull government introduced legislation to Parliament to make it a criminal offence for a sponsor to be paid by a visa applicant in return for securing a migration outcome.

The changes are in line with the government commissioned Independent Review of the Integrity of the Subclass 457 Programme, in which 22 recommendations were made to effectively strengthen the programme.

“The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Bill 2015 implements this recommendation and expands the application beyond the 457 visa programme to other temporary and permanent work visas,” former Assistant Minister Michaelia Cash said.

She went on to say that “unlawful arrangements whereby payment, inducements or other incentives are promised or exchanged to try and achieve a migration outcome will not be tolerated by this Government.”

There will be a framework for criminal, civil and administrative sanctions against sponsors who try to ‘sell’ sponsorships, or seek to obtain some kind of advantage in return for sponsoring a person for a temporary or permanent work visa.

FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide updates on new migration legislation as it becomes available. If you have any migration matters that you would like to discuss, please call one of our migration agents on 02 9922 5188.

FCB Smart Visa Strengthens Practice with New Hire

FCB Smart Visa is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexander Kaufman who has joined the Firm as Migration Manager & Solicitor of the Migration practice in Sydney.

Alex is a legal professional and Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0601370) with over a decade of experience in business and employment related migration, and the provision of associated legal services. Alex is also the current Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Migration Institute of Australia.

Alex’s migration experience includes:

  • advising and acting for public sector, corporate and individual clients to achieve the best employment related outcomes through the 457 visa program
  • assisting fund managers and entrepreneurs to facilitate trade and investment activity through Australia’s ‘Business Skills’ visa program
  • advising and acting for individuals in obtaining Australian Permanent Residence and Citizenship
  • representing clients before Tribunals in visa decision review proceedings
  • advising and acting for employers in relation to Departmental monitoring and auditing processes
  • assisting clients with ancillary and post settlement legal services including Customs / Australian Quarantine Inspection Service requirements, Foreign Investment Review Board applications, purchase of business / real property, leasing of commercial premises and referrals to tax and accounting services

Campbell Fisher, Managing Partner and Chairman of FCB Smart Visa, said:

“We are excited to have Alex on board to work alongside Jacob Wyllie and our growing migration practice. His expertise adds to a dedicated team of professionals, and should be a drawcard for any business seeking qualified, timely and highly personalised immigration advice at a high-level”

Visit the FCB Smart Visa Our People page to read Alex’s biography.

Further Measures to Protect Temporary Work Visa Holders Announced

Earlier this week the Australian government announced further measures to protect temporary work visa holders, by providing additional resources to help them understand their rights as workers, and ensure they have access to information about their workplace rights.

Following various incidents of exploitation of temporary workers, the government has been rolling out several improvements to their systems and processes. One that has already been implemented is the improvement of visa grant notices issued to the visa holder when they are granted their visa. The aim of this is to ensure workers understand their rights when it comes to wages, discrimination, bullying, and harassment.

The government has also recently launched a Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT), available on mobile devices; calculate.fairwork.gov.au, that will allow workers to check their pay rates and enable them to easily identify any issues.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash said that for temporary visa holders the best defence against being underpaid or treated unfairly in the workplace is to know their rights.

“All workers are entitled to the same pay, conditions and protections under Australian law, regardless of whether they are a temporary visa holder, a permanent visa holder or an Australian citizen,” Minister Cash said.

FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide information relevant to the temporary skilled migration programme when it becomes available. If you would like to discuss how these changes will affect you or your business, or you are interested in further information, please call an FCB Smart Visa migration agent on 02 9922 5188.