The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash yesterday announced new legislation before the parliament that will effectively make it a criminal offence to be “paid by a visa applicant in return for securing a migration outcome”.
Senator Cash stated: “Unlawful arrangements whereby payment, inducements or other incentives are promised or exchanged to try and achieve a migration outcome will not be tolerated by this Government.”
In 2013/2014 a review of the 457 programme was undertaken by the Coalition government, whereby one of the recommendations made by the review panel was the “introduction of a new penalty making it unlawful for sponsors to receive payment in return for sponsoring a 457 visa”. Senator Cash has confirmed that the government, by introducing this bill, has accepted this recommendation and will be seeking to bring it into law.
Further to this, the government is not limiting this legislation to that surrounding 457 visa applications, but will have it as a further-reaching measure that could effect almost any work visa, and include a cancellation mechanism.