Who could be liable under the framework?

Under the framework, regardless of whether 'payment for visas' conduct occurred wholly or partially in Australia, liability could extend to any person who engages in 'payment for visas' conduct, such as:

  • visa applicants and visa holders
  • sponsor and third parties
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents
  • Australian bodies corporate.

Under certain circumstances, executive officers of bodies corporate, partners in a partnership, and members of management committees of unincorporated associations could also be liable where the person knew that - or was reckless or negligent as to whether - the conduct was occurring, but failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent the 'payment for visas' contravention or offence being committed.

Liability could also extend to persons who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents in foreign countries if there is a law in the foreign country that provides for a pecuniary or criminal penalty for 'payment for visas' (or similar) conduct. Penalties could also apply to third parties who may be involved in a 'payment for visas' arrangement.