15 February 2011
ACT operation finds 30 workers without Australia Visa
An inspection in the Canberra suburb of Barton resulted in the discovery of 30 illegal workers in the construction industry.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), with assistance from the Australian Federal Police, found 30 unlawful non-citizens, including one South Korean, one person from Hong Kong and 28 Chinese nationals.
All of these workers did not have an Australia Visa or the right to be in Australia.
The illegal workers were transferred to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, pending their removal from Australia at the earliest opportunity.
Investigations into the circumstances of their employment are continuing.
A departmental spokesman said the operation served as a warning to individuals and employers that illegal work and breaches of immigration law will not be tolerated.
“The department is committed to ensuring the integrity of its migration and visa programs,” the spokesman said.
It is the responsibility of employers to check with the department that all people they hire have the legal right to work in Australia. Employers can face severe penalties for hiring people who do not have work rights in Australia, including fines of up to $13,200 and two years’ imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66,000 per illegal worker.
Employers can use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service which allows them to provide relevant identification details of prospective employees with their consent to quickly confirm they have an Australia Visa and are eligible to work in Australia.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australia Visa application with Australian Embassy.