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Migration law update - April

Migration law update - April

 

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Criminal and civil penalties introduced in relation to ‘paying for or buying a visa’

NEW PROVISIONS to the Migration Act 1958 came into effect on 14 December 2015 aimed at combating the fraudulent practice commonly known as paying for or buying a visa. Requesting payment or offering to pay for being sponsored for an employment-related visa could result in criminal penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment, civil penalties of up to 240 penalty points, or visa refusal or cancellation.

The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Act 2015 affects applications for temporary and permanent sponsored employment visas including entertainment, training and research, and superyacht crew visas.

It is now mandatory for sponsors and visa applicants to sign a certification and declarations that the sponsor, applicant or any third party associated with them have not previously or currently engaged in any actions that are prescribed by subsection 245AR (1) of the Migration Act 1958. Professional fees may also come under scrutiny if they do not appear ‘reasonable’ to ensure these are not used as a means of circumventing this legislation.

The MIA provides support and advice to its members on the practical implications of new legislation such as this, visit www.mia.org.au for more information.

Angela Julian-Armitage is the National President and QLD/NT State President of the Migration Institute of Australia and a practising Barrister at the Queensland Bar. Angela operates a Migration Law practice and assists solicitors and RMAs with Review and Appeal work in the area of Migration Law. In addition to her Migration Law expertise, Angela conducts a wide-ranging commercial practice.

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