IMMIGRATION UPDATE – AUSTRALIA
Update on Sponsorship Obligations
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has recently announced updatedamendments to sponsorship obligations.
The two obligations which cause most concern to employees and their assignees are thereturn travel costs and showing equivalent terms and conditions. Please find below anextract from the revised Policy that details how and when records of these obligations mustbe kept.
Return travel costs
Regulation 2.82(3)(a) applies to standard business sponsors, religious worker sponsors,special program sponsors or a party to a work agreement and requires that the person mustkeep the following records:
- The written request for payment of return travel
- A record of when the request was received and
- A record of how the sponsor complied with the request (including the costs paid, whothe costs were paid for and the date of payment which is maintained in a manner thatis capable of being verified by an independent person).
The Department considers an independent person is a person who is free from influence orauthority of the sponsor, who can establish the correctness of a record on the basis of thepresented facts.
All of the records must be kept in a reproducible format. No record needs to be kept for morethan five years.
Equivalent terms and conditions of employment
Regulation 2.82(3)(c) applies to standard business sponsors or a party to a work agreementand requires that the person must keep:
- A record of money paid to the primary sponsored person
- A record of the money applied or dealt with in any way on the primary sponsoredperson’s behalf or as the sponsored person directed
- A record of agreed non-monetary benefits provided to the primary sponsored personincluding the agreed value and the time at which, or the period over which, thosebenefits were provided
- A record of terms and conditions of employment of equivalent workers within theworkplace
- A record of tasks performed by the primary sponsored person and the location(s)where the tasks were performed
- If a party to a work agreement, the sponsor must keep records specified in the workagreement.
The following records must be maintained in a manner capable of being verified by anindependent person:
- Records on how the sponsor complied with a request for payment of return travelcosts
- Records of money paid to the primary sponsored person
- Records of the money applied or dealt with in any way on the primary sponsoredperson’s behalf or as the primary sponsored person directed.
The Department’s position is that cash payments are generally not capable of being verifiedby an independent person. If a sponsor chooses to pay sponsored persons in cash, theonus is on the sponsor to ensure that they keep records of such payments. To avoid anydoubt, sponsors are strongly encouraged to use salary payment methods such as ElectronicFunds Transfers.
Please contact Jane Simpson for further information.
NSW Manager, Relocation Services
Tel: (61) 2 96457700