What are the applicable penalties?

The maximum civil penalty for individuals is 240 penalty units, which currently equates to $50,400 for an individual person. The maximum criminal penalty for individuals is two years imprisonment and/or 360 penalty units. This currently equates to $75,600. 

The maximum fine for bodies corporate is five times higher than for individuals and currently equates to $378,000 for each criminal conviction. The maximum criminal penalty for bodies corporate is five times higher than for individuals and currently equates to $252,000.

Visa cancellation can be considered for persons who have been involved in 'paying for visa sponsorship' conduct. This includes visas granted prior to the introduction of the new legislation, provided the conduct occurred on or after its introduction. Visa and nomination applications may be refused (or decisions delayed) where the applicant or the sponsor has been found, to be involved in the 'paying for visa sponsorship', or where there is strong prima facie evidence of involvement 'paying for visa sponsorship'.

Sponsors involved in 'paying for visa sponsorship' conduct may have their sponsorship cancelled and/or barred, and/or may be issued an infringement notice following a breach of 'paying for visa sponsorship' law.  Where the sponsorship is cancelled, the Department may refuse any associated nominations and visa applications, and cancel the visas of any sponsored visa holders.   

Any cancellation or barring action taken by the Department may affect future visa, nomination or sponsorship applications lodged with the Department.