During one of the frequent operations, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship has detained 12 visa overstatyers and illegal works in Gatton, Queensland.
The joint Queensland Police roadside operation located the 12 men – of whom 11 were visa overstayers while one was suspected of working illegally – who are from a number of countries including India and Indonesia.
A department spokesperson says they have detained nine of the men in Brisbane, pending their planned removal to their home countries.
“In relation to the other three people, one has been granted a bridging visa on departure grounds, another has been granted a bridging visa and can now make an application for a substantive visa, and the other, who is a lawful visa holder, has been counselled regarding his visa conditions and illegal work,” the spokesman added.
The spokesman said the department would be issuing illegal worker warning notices to relevant work contractors or farm owners in Gatton.
“The department’s compliance operations serve as a warning to the community that they can face serious consequences for remaining in Australia without a valid visa or for employing illegal workers,” the spokesman said.
“It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that non-Australian workers they hire hold a visa with valid work rights.”
Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation of having illegal workers face fines of up to $13 200 and two years’ imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker.
The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service is available to employers to check the relevant identification details of prospective employees, with their consent, to quickly confirm if they are eligible to work in Australia.