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.
- If someone is offering to sponsor you with the intention of not offering you paid employment in the nominated position, this is visa fraud.
- Both sponsors and visa holders have obligations and conditions to ensure that visa fraud does not occur. if an obligation or condition is breached there can be serious consequences for sponsors and visa holders.
To help stop visa fraud the department needs you to report any suspicious or potentially fraudulent activity by sponsors or visa holders. You can do this by going to the Immigration dob-in line.
Please note: names of people and businesses in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Lee is an IT Network Analyst. For several months, he had been trying to find a 457 sponsor so he could live and work in Australia, but with no success. Lee’s aunt Jin ran a small IT company in Melbourne. Although she had no need for an IT Network Analyst, due to the size and the nature of the business, she wished to help her nephew Lee. Therefore, Jin decided to apply to become a 457 sponsor with the intention of sponsoring Lee, despite not having a position available.
Jin told Lee that she was unable to afford the costs involved in becoming a 457 sponsor. As Lee was desperate to live and work in Australia, he told his aunt that he would pay for his own visa costs, and the costs for Jin’s company to become a 457 sponsor and to nominate him. Lee was aware that when he arrived in Australia, his aunt would be unable to employ him as an IT Network Analyst, but for visa purposes he would be an employee of the company.
Lee paid all the necessary fees and submitted all the required applications to the department to seek approval of Jin’s company as a 457 sponsor and nominate the position of IT network analyst. He planned to apply for his visa when the sponsorship and nomination were approved.
While waiting for the sponsorship and the nomination to be approved, Jin received an unannounced visit from departmental officers. The officers stated that they were conducting a site visit on the request of the processing officer to see if Jin’s business met the requirements to be a 457 visa sponsor, and if the company required an IT Network Analyst as she had stated in her nomination application.
The officers questioned Jin about the nature of the work conducted by the business and the role of the proposed IT Network Analyst. As Jin did not need an IT Network Analyst, she struggled to answer the questions being asked of her. As a result, the officers informed the processing area that the business did not need an IT Network Analyst and that they had concerns about the genuineness of the sponsorship application. The processing officer refused the company’s sponsorship application and Lee was unable to apply for a visa through Jin’s company. All the fees Lee paid for the sponsorship and nomination application were non-refundable.
Stay tuned for our final blog post coming soon.