What is the change? The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (‘DIBP’) is requiring new mandatory declarations by employers and visa applicants under a recent law that makes it a crime to offer, ask for or receive payment or other benefits in exchange for a visa outcome. Whilst some of the DIBP nomination and visa application forms have already been updated with this declaration/certification (including the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457 visa)), a number of other affected visa subclasses will not have the declaration/certification included in the relevant DIBP application forms until later this year.

What does the change mean? In visa categories where the relevant application forms have not yet been updated to include these declarations/certifications, employers and individuals who lodged applications on or after 14 December 2015 must fill out and sign a form stating whether or not they have engaged in ‘payment for visa outcome’ conduct. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186), Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa, Temporary (Long Stay Activity) (subclass 401) visa, Training and Research (subclass 402) visa, Temporary Work (Entertainment) (subclass 420) visa, Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa, Superyacht Crew (subclass 488) visa.
  • Who is affected: Employers and individuals who lodged applications on or after 14 December 2015.
  • Impact on processing times: Both the sponsor/nominator and the visa applicant must complete and sign the certification form and submit it with their application or within 28 days of the date of lodgement of the application or written request to provide the signed certification form.
  • Business impact: The law adds a new attestation requirement and is a compliance reminder for employers and visa applicants to make sure they have not engaged in any of the prohibited conduct.
  • Next steps: BAL is contacting affected clients and will assist in providing the appropriate forms to be completed and signed.

Background: Under the new framework, payments, gifts or other benefits are prohibited in exchange for visa sponsorship or a sponsorship-related event. The law passed in November and regulations were adopted in December in an effort to prevent abuse of workers and visa scams. The list of affected visa categories and schedules may be viewed on the DIBP webpage.

BAL Analysis: BAL will be working with clients and their employees to ensure that these declaration and certification forms will be completed and the requirement has been addressed.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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