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Posted by Luke Miller on

Why employers need to exercise caution with visa checks

An estimated 70,000 people live in Australia unlawfully, many of whom arrived on student or visitor visas, the Department of Home Affairs says.

There has been increasing scrutiny on employers who unwittingly hire workers who end up as undocumented workers or visa overstayers. The financial penalties due to administrative oversight on visa Checks are just one of the financial and legal risks faced by employers for non-compliance with immigration laws.

It is the responsibility of employers to check that potential employees have a visa with permission to work in Australia.


Person A is a Pakistani student who migrated to Australia under a student visa to pursue an education in business management. Difficulties fitting into the local culture caused him to become depressed and eventually he withdrew from his studies. Due to this sparse attendance, Person A’s student visa was cancelled, and he was given 28 days to leave the country.

His friend, Person B who is hired by Employer Z, introduced him to take on a role as a delivery driver. As Person B has previously cleared his right to work checks and police check, Employer Z trusted that Person A holds the same credentials as Person B, and continued to unwittingly employ Person A, now an unlawful migrant. 

Employer Z's unintentional hiring non-compliance can lead to the following repercussions:

  • Banned from hiring other visa holders.
  • Civil and even criminal penalties of up to $315,000 and/or five years imprisonment per illegal worker.
  • Up to $630,000 per serious contravention.

How can routine employee checks be streamlined and made more accessible for employers to prevent unintentional hiring of overstayers?

While there are advantages to being directly involved in handling police, Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) checks and right to work checks within your organisation, such as fostering a strong relationship with reputable police checking company and gaining peace of mind in terms of integrity, several questions must be addressed:

  • Do you possess the organisational capacity to handle police checks and VEVO checks internally?
  • Do you have the administrative capability to manage the process effectively?
  • Do you have the necessary personnel to input the data?
  • Do you have the necessary policies and procedures to store personal sensitive data?

The right Australian police check provider can significantly support your administrative processes and help you establish a system that aligns with your current capabilities and growth ambitions. Moreover, partnering with a specialised organisation offering Australian police checks and visa verification checks like National Crime Check, allows you to benefit from their expertise, uncovering factors that may have previously eluded your consideration, while benefiting from established infrastructure and streamlined processes.

Additionally, NCC offers a value-added platform service to run routine checks on your staff to prevent the risks and consequences of hiring undocumented workers, or workers who have lost their visa status. This service reduces HR administrative time by automating right to work and police checks, enabling considerable time and cost savings, freeing up HR professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as talent acquisition, employee engagement, and training and development.

NCC’s platform also offers an overview of all employees, or segregated view based on departments, seniority, job types and other customisable groups. This helps to ensure that the necessary checks are implemented and prescribed for the right groups of employees based on the frequency, and sensitivity of job their job nature, thus improving accuracy and compliance of your organisation workforce. 

If your business is looking for a trusted partner to conduct VEVO checks, contact National Crime Check here.

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