Which Workers Need Visa Checks?
Businesses often ask which workers need visa checks before and during employment. Under the Employer Sanctions legislation, businesses can face penalties if they hire a “non-citizen” worker in breach of visa conditions or without a valid visa.
A “non-citizen” is any person who is not a citizen of Australia. The following categories of people fall within this definition:
- Unlawful non-citizens are those who are in Australia but who do not hold any current Australian visa
- Bridging visa holders – workers who are waiting for the outcome of an application for a substantive visa. Generally, the visa will expire 35 days after notice is given of a decision on their substantive visa application. Many, but not all, have work rights whilst awaiting their decision
- Temporary visa holders – such as international students, working holiday makers or 457 visa holders
- Provisional visa holders – the most common category are temporary partner visa holders, but can also include provisional business migration visa holders (in this case, there is a restriction on the type of work they can do) and provisional skilled migrants (who generally can only work in certain geographic areas)
- New Zealand citizens – generally New Zealanders can travel to Australia without obtaining a visa first, remain in Australia indefinitely and work full time in Australia but can lose their status if they commit a criminal offence.
- Permanent visa holders – who generally hold unrestricted work rights, but whose travel facilities expire every five years (e.g. Employer Nomination Scheme or ENS, General Skilled Migration).