Permanent Sponsored Visa Australia-Obligations

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If you have been granted a permanent migration (or permanent residence visa) based on employer or state/territory government sponsorship, you may have to abide by certain obligations.

State Sponsored, subclass 176

  • Also applies to State Territory Nominated Independent (STNI - subclass 137, and Skill Matching - subclass 134)
  • In order to get state sponsorship you must usually sign a declaration of intent to live (and in some cases, work) in the sponsoring state/territory.
  • Usually there is no obligation to work in a specific occupation.
  • The state/territory government will expect you to keep in touch with them for 2 years after your first arrival in Australia, and in some cases, longer.
  • If you do not make any effort to live by your promises, the state government can tell DIAC and (in theory at least), DIAC could attempt to cancel your visa for providing fraudulent information.
  • The state/territory government may be upset if you do not move to Australia fairly quickly after being granted your visa.
  • DIAC could, if they wished, change the laws to make it easier to cancel these visas in the most flagrant cases of abuse.
  • If you make a genuine effort to settle in your sponsoring state/territory, and your circumstances change, there is no problem moving to another state, even before 2 years. You would still be expected to stay in touch with the sponsoring state and let them know of your circumstances.
  • If you have a 176 visa based on family sponsorship these restrictions do not apply.

ENS, subclass 121 (856 onshore)

  • Your employer is obliged to offer you a permanent job, or at least one that lasts 3 years with normal expectation of extension.
  • DIAC do expect that you have a genuine intention to work for your sponsoring employer.
  • If you leave your employer before the 3 years are up, you keep your visa. However, if you never take up the position, or make no serious attempt to hold it, DIAC could (again, in theory at least) take action against you for visa fraud.
  • Again, DIAC could change the rules anytime.
  • Bear in mind that if you have not validated your visa, your sponsorship can be withdrawn and your visa cancelled.
  • Same rules apply to Labour Agreement visas (subclass 120 offshore, 855 onshore).

RSMS, subclass 119 (857 onshore)

  • There are specific legal obligations for RSMS visa holders.
  • Normally you must start your job within 6 months and make a genuine effort to complete 2 years in that position.
  • If you don't, then DIAC have legal authority to cancel your visa.
  • A "genuine effort" is based on circumstances. It is not a problem if you are laid off by your employer, in normal circumstances.
  • There is no specific obligation with RSMS to live in the regional area. For example, you could work on a fly-in-fly-out basis for an employer in Karratha (WA) and your base could be in Perth. However, if you do not fulfil the 2 years, DIAC may be less flexible if you are not living in regional Australia.
  • Seek experienced professional assistance if you even contemplate leaving your job before 2 years.