This post is part of a series of fictional scenarios designed to help temporary skilled workers holding 457 visas and their sponsors to better understand their responsibilities and obligations. It is also designed to assist you in avoiding visa scams and fraudulent activity. The department takes allegations of fraud very seriously. There are significant penalties if you are caught engaging in fraudulent activity.
Working in your nominated position
- You must be working in your nominated position. If you are found to be working in a different position your visa can be cancelled.
- Your sponsor also has an obligation to make sure you are working in your nominated position. The sponsor can face severe penalties if this does not happen.
- If you want to change your position, your sponsor must submit a new nomination application. You cannot work in a different position until it is approved by the department.
- Woking outside of your nominated position is a breach of the conditions of your visa.
If you know of someone not working in their nominated position please inform the department through the Immigration dob-in line.
Please note: names of people and businesses in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Vikram has spent the last four years in Australia studying. While Vikram was studying he was working 40 hours a fortnight at a local restaurant as a waiter. As he has almost finished his course, Vikram was becoming nervous about his future in Australia; he wanted to stay but did not know if he was eligible for any other visas.
Vikram’s boss at the restaurant offered to sponsor him as a restaurant manager. Vikram had never worked as a restaurant manager and his only work experience was in waiting tables. When Vikram expressed these concerns to his boss, his boss told him that he would not expect Vikram to work as the manager, but they could just tell the department that this was the role he had already been filling at the restaurant and that he would continue in that role. Vikram’s boss said he would organise all the paperwork.
Vikram’s boss said that as he was helping him out with his visa to stay in Australia, he wanted Vikram to pay $30,000. This was a lot of money but as Vikram wanted to remain in Australia he agreed to this proposal.
Vikram had to pay $10,000 to his boss before he submitted the visa application and $20,000 once the visa had been approved.
Vikram had a very nervous wait while his visa was processed as he knew he wasn’t being honest with the department. He was very relieved when he received notification of his visa approval and was looking forward to his life in Australia. Even though $30,000 was a lot of money, he was happy to be remaining in Australia.
Vikram continued to wait tables and perform other duties in the restaurant. Several months after his visa was approved, monitoring officers from the department visited the business to see if the sponsor and visa holders were complying with their obligations. Vikram was asked about his role in the business. He was asked questions about his experience and the duties he performed on a daily basis. Vikram was nervous and concerned because he was struggling to answer their questions and knew he was being untruthful.
Following the monitoring audit it was determined that Vikram was not working as the restaurant manager but rather as a waiter. As Vikram was not working in his nominated position, he breached his visa conditions and his visa was cancelled. The sponsor was also penalised for employing Vikram in an incorrect position. The sponsor was barred from sponsoring skilled workers for the next five years and received a substantial fine.
Vikram was disappointed. Not only would he have to leave Australia, he had lost $30,000 by engaging in fraudulent conduct. He was also informed by the department that as his visa had been cancelled he was unlikely to be successful in obtaining a new visa for at least three years.
Are you working for your nominated sponsor? If this question concerns you or someone you know, read next week’s blog post.