Recently, the national government placed many of the visa regulations under review as they looked to tighten restrictions placed on working visas.

So, the time has now come for businesses and migrants to update themselves on the changes to make sure that they know their legal rights involving foreign workers.

Many of the changes that have been made are about the 457 employer-sponsored programmes and what is needed to make a temporary visa permanent.

Much of the new laws will implement new penalties for businesses and migrants found to be breaching laws and working illegally within the country. If companies are found to be hiring illegal workers, they could now face fines of $102,000 per worker and a possible 2-year prison sentence.

It hasn’t taken long for the new penalties to already affect DIAC officials moving in on groups of illegal workers.

There has been a steady increase in the number of illegal workers within Australia with 2000 people detained for the offense in 2012. Investigations have already taken place in Perth and Sydney where numerous workers have been moved to detention centers and facing deportation.

Most of the offending immigrants have been detained due to overstaying their current visas and failing to alert authorities. Out of those who have been detained, many are originally from Asia from countries such as Malaysia, China, and Vietnam. One of the most surprising aspects of the clampdown is how the DIAC is being fed their information as community tip-offs being the most common source for investigations to take place.

To try and avoid getting caught up in the immigration changes, businesses can use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service which will let them know if a worker is eligible to work within Australia.

So with this in mind, businesses and workers should double-check what their rights are now to make sure that they qualify and conform to all the latest visa regulation changes. For more information on how to migrate to Australia, contact EMSA today.

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