In America, the Trump administration is following through on a promised crackdown on illegal immigration. It’s happening in Australia too. Last year, over 500 illegal foreign workers were either removed from the country, or detained or stopped at the border following a nationwide crackdown on illegal labour-hire syndicates. Two hundred and twenty nine of them were caught working illegally on holiday visas. It’s not just the illegal workers who find themselves in trouble if they’re caught. The Australian Federal Police has been targeting agents who organise fraudulent visas and arrange flights, with unscrupulous labour hire firms facing penalties of up to 10 years’ in prison and fines of up to $210,000. Australian employers also face infringements or civil penalties if they engage the services of illegal workers, regardless of whether they knew the person was an illegal worker, and whether they employed the person directly or through a contractor or labour supply agency. What is an illegal worker? An illegal worker is a non-citizen who is working without a valid visa or working in breach of a visa condition. Even if a person does have a valid Australian visa, it’s important to check the conditions because they may include not being able to work at all or only being able to work with a certain employer or a specific number of hours. If you have reason to believe a worker is a non-citizen, you need to check the person’s visa – use the free service at Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents are legal workers and have unlimited permission to work in Australia. Engage the International Talent You Need with Confidence While Australia has plenty of its own talent, sometimes it’s necessary to look overseas for specific skills or to meet a shortfall in labour. To ensure you’re hiring a person who is already in Australia on a skilled visa, or to sponsor a worker to come to Australia on a permanent basis, it’s important to talk to an expert. Ayers Group has an Australian Government issued On Hire Labour Hire Agreement and with over 20 years in the industry, we are the experts in the process of attaining skilled visas and sponsorship visas. Minimise your risks and maximise your business opportunities by talking to us today.