Now, more than ever before, whether you’re a foreign worker or you’re sponsoring foreign workers, it is essential to ensure you are compliant with your visa obligations. This is because the Department of Home Affairs is now closely monitoring the compliance of skilled visa holders and their sponsors. The aim is to identify whether businesses are complying with their sponsorship obligations (eg, paying visa holders correctly) and whether temporary skilled visa holders are complying with their visa conditions (eg, working only for an approved employer, and in the approved occupation). Non-compliant workers may have their visas cancelled and non-compliant employers may lose their approval to sponsor foreign workers. To facilitate this, the Department of Home Affairs is providing the following key data to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO): Biographical details, including name, address and date of birth of clients who are, or were in the three most recently completed financial years, holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) or Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) primary visas; and Details of the clients’ business sponsors These details will be electronically matched against ATO data holdings. Where there is a match, the ATO will return income and employment data for the relevant individual(s) to the Department. Data will be exchanged on a periodic basis. It is estimated that the total number of records shared will be around 680,000 which represents around 280,000 individuals. Other changes to visas announced this year include: Longer processing times for partner visas – potential offshore applicants and sponsors now have to pass through a stringent process to assess their character and history. The aim is to reduce incidence of domestic violence. A new temporary sponsored parent visa – 15,000 visas will be granted per year enabling Australian citizens and permanent residents to bring their parents from overseas to Australia. Parent visas will be valid for three or five years, and will cost $5,000 and $10,000 respectively. These visas are renewable, up to a maximum of 10 years when combined. Foreign students applying for a study visa must show evidence they have funds of $20,290 – It will cost an additional $7,100 to bring in a partner and $3,040 per child. South Australia visa for start-up entrepreneurs – This new visa will require submission of an original idea and a business plan. It will be easier to obtain than a business and innovation visa and will not require a $200,000 funding agreement. In Australia work visas are available for: skilled workers people participating in specific activities working holiday makers highly specialised workers trainees, short term experienced business people investors Ayers has been helping companies to sponsor foreign workers into Australia for over 20 years. As one of few companies to be approved by the Department of Immigration to sponsor, hire and even on-hire international workers, we are able to employ international workers as our tax employees, then on-hire them to you for contractual employment. Talk to an Ayers Group expert today.