Australia Immigration

Taskforce comfirmed to investigate working holiday visa fraud in Australia

by Ray Clancy on May 20, 2015

in Australia Immigration

The Australian government has confirmed that it will set up a dedicated taskforce to investigate recent allegations of fraud connected with the working holiday visa programme.

According to Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash, the taskforce will be part of overall efforts to increase integrity and compliance in the visa programme, which has been rocked by allegations of exploitation.

studentbackpackers

The Aussie government will be investigating allegations of fraud in the working holiday visa programme

‘Organised criminal networks and unscrupulous labour hire contractors seeking to profit by ripping employees off, and illegal workers ripping off the taxpayer by working in breach of visa conditions should be under no illusion, we are targeting you,’ said  DIBP spokesman.

The announcement comes as a Senate inquiry begins into the country’s temporary visa programme overall, including skilled 457 visas and working holiday visas, at a hearing in Melbourne.

Cash has said that while the vast majority of employers do the right thing, the DIBP has a duty to address instances where workers’ rights are compromised and it is running several targeted compliance activities across its departments. The new taskforce will add a further layer of investigation and enforcement.

She also pointed out that visa fraud will be a top priority of the new Australian Border Force agency, which comes into being on 01 July this year.

‘The message is clear: by hiring illegal workers, businesses are risking more than their profits. They risk their livelihood, and are gambling with a possible criminal conviction,’ said Cash.

Anyone who knowingly or recklessly uses illegal workers faces fines up to $20,400 and/or two years in jail per illegal worker. Companies face fines up to $102,000 per illegal worker. Civil penalties and criminal offences are also possible.

The Immigration Department is investigating the employment of 417 visa holders by labour hire firms and the Fair Work Ombudsman has dealt with 6,000 requests for assistance from visa holders, recovered more than $4 million in outstanding wages and entitlements, and provided advice and assistance to more than 5,000 overseas workers and visa holders who have called the Fair Work Infoline.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for Enforcement, not new laws, will toughen visa abuse, says Australian business group

Enforcement, not new laws, will toughen visa abuse, says Australian business group

May 19, 2015 Australia Immigration

With more evidence that temporary visa workers are not being treated in accordance with Australian laws, the country’s chamber of commerce and industry is calling for improved enforcement rather than new laws. According to Kate Carnell, chief executive officer of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), enforcing compliance is critical to maintaining public [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Australia confirms changes to visas for wealthy investors

Australia confirms changes to visas for wealthy investors

May 18, 2015 Australia Immigration

Changes to the Significant Investment Visa (SIV) and new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) in Australia have been announced and will be rolled out over the next year. The changes focus on attracting a small number of highly talented and entrepreneurial individuals to Australia who can contribute skills and talents into areas which deliver a long [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Visa and Citizenship Costs to Rise in Australia

Visa and Citizenship Costs to Rise in Australia

May 15, 2015 Australia

Charges for a range of Australian visas are to be increased by 01 July under new proposals set out by the government in its annual Budget. Officials said the visa applications would affect only those living offshore and wanting to travel to Australia and that the moved brings fees in line with visa costs incurred [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Australia’s Visa System to be Streamlined Further

Australia’s Visa System to be Streamlined Further

May 13, 2015 Australia

Australia’s visa system it to be streamlined further and travel to and from the country is set to get easier and safer under new measures announced in the annual Budget. Reduced red tape and several initiatives will benefit international travellers, the travel industry, exporters, importers and visa applicants, said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. The Seamless [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Changes for Migration Agents in Australia Announced

Changes for Migration Agents in Australia Announced

May 11, 2015 Australia

Migration agents in Australia are to face tough new levels of professional skills as part of a plan to improve the service that they give, it has been announced. There will be a reduction in red tape for agents with exemplary records, fully qualified lawyers will no longer have to register and new entrants will [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Union Organisation Calls for End to Traditional Visa Programmes in Australia

Union Organisation Calls for End to Traditional Visa Programmes in Australia

May 5, 2015 Australia

If Australia’s reliance on temporary visa workers over traditional permanent migration is allowed to continue increasing at its current rate their numbers will swell to around two million by 2020, it is claimed. Instead Australia should return to a predominantly permanent migration model and curb the unsustainable growth of the overseas temporary work programme, according [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Company Fined in First Federal Court Case for Breaching 457 Visa Conditions

Company Fined in First Federal Court Case for Breaching 457 Visa Conditions

May 1, 2015 Australia

Overseas workers in Australia who are sponsored by employers for their visas are being reminded that they have rights to be treated properly and paid at the correct rates. The warning comes after the Department of Immigration and Border Protection successfully took a Darwin based company to the Federal court over treatment of international workers. [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Australia Announced New International Immigration Partnership

Australia Announced New International Immigration Partnership

April 30, 2015 Australia

Australia has signed a new partnership agreement with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), it has been announced. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said it will further strengthen Australia’s important relationship with the organisation. ‘We both commit to cooperating strategically on key shared migration priorities, establishing structured dialogue to enhance governance arrangements and to develop and [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Australian’s Welcome Immigrants but want them to speak English, Poll Shows

Australian’s Welcome Immigrants but want them to speak English, Poll Shows

April 29, 2015 Australia

If you move to Australia from a non English speaking country you will be widely welcomed but also find that the majority of Australians expect you to speak in the language, a new poll suggests. The survey on national identity from the Australian National University also found Australians believe foreigners should have respect for political [...]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Australian Immigration Department Starts Using Artificial Intelligence Computer

Australian Immigration Department Starts Using Artificial Intelligence Computer

April 28, 2015 Australia

Australia’s immigration department is breaking new ground and taking part in a trial of cognitive computing with the aim of making its intelligence gathering more effective. The department will use computer giant IBM’s Watson programme to analyse unstructured data sources such as news feeds and government reports. The trial will last 11 months and Randall [...]

Read the full article →