Employment and Migration Blog

Getting hotter in the Domino’s kitchen – Paying for visa sponsorship

Posted by Lisa Qiu on 17 Feb 2017

A Fairfax Media investigation focussing on franchisees underpaying workers has revealed yet another scam involving the exploitation of 457 visa holders.

An undercover phone call by a Fairfax employee to a Domino’s Pizza franchise demonstrated that the fast food chain was offering visa sponsorship in exchange for payments of up to $150,000. So exactly what laws have been broken?

On 14 December 2015, the Migration Act was amended to prohibit companies from offering to sponsor a migrant worker on a 457 visa in exchange for payment from the migrant worker. The Act also prohibits migrant workers offering payment to companies, in exchange for visa sponsorship. 

It’s not only the employer and the migrant worker that can land themselves in hot water - executive officers of a company can be criminally liable for contraventions, if they knew of, or were reckless or negligent as to such conduct occurring. Penalties for executive officers include up to two years imprisonment, fines of up to $64,800 or both. 

For others involved in the payment exchange, including the migrant worker, penalties range up to a maximum fine of $43,200. 

The Act also makes it clear that even if the sponsorship doesn’t happen, the payment arrangement is still a contravention, and penalties can still be imposed. 

If you want advice on the 457 visa process and how to do it right, contact our Employment and Business Migration team: