Virginia, US
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| Simon Haag

End of Fiscal Year Brings Compliance Obligations

Will the end of your fiscal year bring more compliance obligations?
For many multinational businesses, the end of March is also the end of the financial reporting year. It is also the time when businesses need to check other reporting obligations – including to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
As a new financial year starts, there are often changes to employment status and organisational structures which are ‘notifiable events’ under 457 sponsorship obligations. These include:
  • promotions or transfers of 457 visa holders into new roles (within Australia);
  • reassignment of a 457 visa holder to a new role outside Australia;
  • changes to the remuneration packaging of 457 visa holders; and
  • changes to the ownership, directors or board members of the business.
Under migration law, employers have 10 business days to inform DIBP of such events.
If your business does report to 31 March, it is also a good time to monitor your business’ compliance with training expenditure obligations based on overall payroll figures for the preceding financial year.
Under the Migration Act, employers face heavy sanctions for breaching sponsorship obligations. For sanctions to be imposed, it is enough that the breach has occurred, however inadvertent – there is no requirement that the breach was intentional or reckless. Sanctions include:
  • cancellation of approval as a sponsor, and the 457 visas approved on the auspices of that sponsorship;
  • a bar on applying for further approval as a sponsor; and/or
  • civil penalties of up to AUD 10,200 for an individual, or AUD 51,000 for a corporation.
To demonstrate that HR is across corporate governance and risk management issues in the immigration space, we recommend that you:
  • screen any end of financial year staff changes for 457 visa holders.
  • report any notifiable events to the DIPB within 10 working days (assuming these changes are effective on 1 April, the deadline for notification is 15 April).
  • conduct visa verification checks on your non-Australian staff population to confirm ongoing immigration status.
  • conduct a ‘dipstick test’ to confirm that your business is compliant with its sponsorship obligations.
For help with these processes, contact Fragomen’s Compliance and Advisory Services at
MARN 0849574