Audit & compliance

Compliance with business sponsorship obligations is an ongoing process for both accredited and standard business sponsors. Visa applicants must also ensure they abide by any visa conditions imposed on their visa.

Companies that sponsor temporary workers (Subclass 407, 482 and 494) are subject to certain sponsorship obligations. Similarly, visa holders are bound by conditions which they must uphold.

Sponsorship obligations are in place to protect overseas skilled workers from exploitation and to ensure the sponsored visa programme is being used to meet genuine skills shortages, not to undercut local labour wages or conditions.

In most circumstances, sponsorship obligations apply beyond the term of the sponsorship approval.

Generally, a business sponsor must:

● corporate with inspectors

● ensure equivalent terms and conditions

● keep relevant records

● provide records and information to the Minister

● inform when certain events occur

● ensure the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity

● not recover from, transfer or charge certain costs to another person

● pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia

● pay costs to remove unlawful non-citizens

● provide training to Australians and permanent residents

● not engage in discriminatory practices
 
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) conducts routine monitoring activities to ensure that sponsors adhere to their sponsorship obligations. DHA also ensures that visa holders uphold their visa conditions.  Businesses are monitored during the sponsorship period as well as up to five years after the sponsorship ceases.

Under most circumstances, sponsorship monitoring may occur in the following ways:

1. Written communication to the business to ask for the provision of information and relevant records in accordance with obligations.

2. Site visits, usually to the sponsored business premises, with or without notice.

3. Information exchange with other Commonwealth, state or territory government agencies (inc. the Fair Work Ombudsman, Department of Employment and Australian Taxation Office).
 
Failure to cooperate with inspectors is a breach of sponsorship obligations which may result in civil or criminal sanctions as well as cancellation of the visa or sponsorship facility.  It is therefore important to be fully prepared in the event of monitoring conducted by DOHA.

If you are a business sponsoring 407, 482 or 494 visa holders it is paramount to be across sponsorship obligations.  We assist visa holders as well as business sponsors on all aspects of monitoring and compliance in the following ways:

● Conducting mock audits and health checks of the foreign employee population to ensure ongoing compliance with sponsorship obligations

● Providing a response to Home Affairs in relation to a monitoring request

● Assistance with a cancellation or bar on business sponsorship

● Advice on compliance with visa conditions

● Provide training sessions to HR and Global Mobility specialists

● Review existing employment contracts used by the business to ensure terms and conditions of employment are no less favourable

● Provide you with an audit outcome report including recommendation and also a tailored copy of Global Mobility Guide based on your business practices/risk analysis and recommendations For further information on sponsorship obligations and how we can assist your business, contact us today with no obligations.