This article will discuss work and family sponsorship obligations under the Migration Act 1958. The work sponsorship program is designed to attract skilled workers to Australia to fill the skills gap in the Australian labour market.
To be eligible for work sponsorship, an individual must have a job offer from an Australian employer and have the necessary qualifications and experience for the job. The employer must also be willing to sponsor the individual and meet the requirements set by the Australian government.
On the other hand, the family sponsorship program allows Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens to sponsor their family members to migrate to Australia.
The sponsorship can be for a spouse, dependent children, parents, or other eligible relatives. The sponsor must meet the eligibility criteria set by the Australian government and be willing to provide financial support to the sponsored family member.
Section 140H: Sponsorship Obligations in General
This Section outlines the requirements that one must satisfy for work and family sponsorship obligations:
- An approved sponsor must satisfy the sponsorship obligations prescribed by the regulations.
- If an individual is a party to a work agreement and a sponsorship obligation which the regulations typically mandates, and the agreement modifies the obligation, then the individual is still required to fulfil the sponsorship obligation as it has been altered within the agreement.
- If an individual is or has been a party to a work agreement and a sponsorship obligation is outlined within the terms of the agreement, then that individual must adhere to the stipulations of the sponsorship obligation within the agreement.
- The regulations may require an individual to fulfil sponsorship responsibilities for each visa beneficiary sponsored by them individually or as a whole.
- The satisfaction of work and family sponsorship obligations must be in the manner (if any) and within the period (if any) prescribed by the regulations.
- The regulations cannot prescribe, as a sponsorship obligation, an obligation to pay the Commonwealth an amount relating to the cost of a person’s immigration detention.
- Different kinds of sponsorship obligations may be prescribed for different kinds of visa and different classes in relation to which a person may be approved as a work sponsor or family sponsor
Section 140HA: Minister’s responsibility
This section specifies the Minister’s tasks in relation to work and family sponsorship obligations. These are:
- The Minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that Regulations (section 504) include obligations in relation to:
- paying a market salary rate (however described) to a visa holder;
- paying prescribed costs to the Commonwealth in relation to locating a former visa holder, and removing a former visa holder from Australia;
- paying prescribed costs of the departure of a visa holder (or a former visa holder) from Australia;
- complying with prescribed requirements to keep information, and provide information to the Minister;
- notifying the Department of prescribed changes in the circumstances of the person, a visa holder or a former visa holder;
- cooperating with the exercise of powers under or for the purposes of Subdivision F (which deals with inspector powers);
- ensuring that a visa holder participates in an occupation, program or activity nominated by the person (including by preventing the on-hire of a visa holder);
- requiring the person not to transfer, charge or recover prescribed costs;
- requiring the person to meet prescribed training requirements.
- For the obligations mentioned in point (1) above, the Minister must also ensure that the obligations in the relevant regulations apply in relation to:
- all approved work sponsors or former approved work sponsors; or
- a specified class or classes of approved work sponsors or former approved work sponsors
- The Minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the regulations (section 504) include work and family sponsorship obligations in relation to the following matters to the extent that they relate to a person who is an approved family sponsor:
- paying prescribed medical, hospital, aged care or other health-related expenses incurred by a visa holder or a former visa holder;
- complying with prescribed requirements to keep information and provide information to the Minister;
- notifying the Minister of prescribed changes in the circumstances of the person, a visa holder or a former visa holder.
- For obligations mentioned above under point (1) of family sponsors, the Minister should ensure that the regulations apply to:
- all approved family sponsors or former approved family sponsors; or
- a specified class or classes of approved family sponsors or former approved family sponsors.
Section 140J: Amounts payable in Relation to Work and Family Sponsorship Obligations
This section applies when there is an amount payable under the regulations in relation to work and family sponsorship obligations.
The maximum amount that a person, who was an approved sponsor for a sponsorship obligation, needs to pay to the Commonwealth is limited to the prescribed limit or the actual costs incurred by the Commonwealth, whichever is less.
Seeking Legal Assistance for Sponsorship Obligations
Australia is a popular destination for people around the world to migrate to for work and family reasons. However, obtaining a visa in Australia is not always a straightforward process. Immigration laws and regulations are complex and can be confusing to navigate. This is where lawyers can play a vital role. They can help individuals and families with work and family sponsorship obligations in Australia.
Our team of migration lawyers at JB Solicitors can provide valuable guidance. We can assist you throughout the visa and sponsorship application process. With our expertise and knowledge, we can help you understand the fundamentals of work and family sponsorship obligations. Moreover, we can make the process less stressful and more straightforward for those seeking to migrate to Australia for work or family reasons.
Contact us today.