Seeking money for Visa sponsorship is a crime with upto 2 years prison and upto $324,000 fine

Re-blogging on Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

It’s a crime to receive or offer a benefit for visa sponsorship

JailedFines (pic from Herald Sun newspaper)

Up to 2 yrs jail &/or up to $324,000/case fine for people requesting/receiving a benefit in return for a work sponsorship including 457 visa. 457 visa scamming is making some unethical & unscrupulous employers rich at the cost of employees and Australia. Some of these people are masquerading as community leaders.

I have copied the information below from Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Paying for visa sponsorship – certification requirement

On 14 December 2015 new criminal and civil penalties and visa cancellation provisions were introduced as part of a framework that allows for sanctions to be imposed on a person who asks for, receives, offers or provides a benefit in return for a visa sponsorship or employment that requires visa sponsorship (otherwise known as a ‘sponsorship-related event’).

The certification requirement

Sponsors, nominators and visa applicants must provide a statement in their online application about current or previous conduct that constitutes a breach of ‘paying for visa sponsorship’. You will need to provide a separate certification form only if you applied before July 2016 or have been requested to provide it. See: Certification Form.

The mandatory certification required from sponsors and nominators requires you to have an understanding of the relevant sections of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act), which you are making your certification.  As a sponsor or nominator, sections 245AQ and 245AR of the Act are applicable.

This information is presented below for your reference.

245AQ definitions

benefit includes:

  • a payment or other valuable consideration
  • a deduction of an amount
  • any kind of real or personal property
  • an advantage
  • a service
  • a gift.

sponsorship-related event means any of the following events:

  • a person applying for approval as a sponsor under section 140E in relation to a sponsor class
  • a person applying for a variation of a term of an approval as a sponsor under section 140E in relation to a sponsor class
  • a person becoming, or not ceasing to be, a party to a work agreement
  • a person agreeing to be, or not withdrawing his or her agreement to be, an approved sponsor in relation to an applicant or proposed applicant for a sponsored visa
  • a person making a nomination under section 140GB in relation to a holder of, or an applicant or proposed applicant for, a sponsored visa, or including another person in such a nomination
  • a person not withdrawing a nomination made under section 140GB in relation to a holder of, or an applicant or proposed applicant for, a sponsored visa
  • a person applying under the regulations for approval of the nomination of a position in relation to the holder of, or an applicant or proposed applicant for, a sponsored visa, or including another person in such a nomination
  • a person not withdrawing the nomination under the regulations of a position in relation to the holder of, or an applicant or proposed applicant for, a sponsored visa
  • a person employing or engaging, or not terminating the employment or engagement of, a person to work in an occupation or position in relation to which a sponsored visa has been granted, has been applied for or is to be applied for
  • a person engaging, or not terminating the engagement of, a person to undertake a program, or carry out an activity, in relation to which a sponsored visa has been granted, has been applied for or is to be applied for
  • the grant of a sponsored visa
  • a prescribed event.

A prescribed event within 245AQ(l) of the Act, is defined at 5.19N of the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Regulations) and includes:

  • a person becoming, or not ceasing to be, a party to a labour agreement that is not a work agreement
  • a person nominating a position in accordance with such a labour agreement in relation to the holder of, or an applicant or proposed applicant for,  a sponsored visa, or including another person in such a nomination
  • a person not withdrawing a nomination of a position made in accordance with such a labour agreement in relation to the holder of, or an applicant or proposed applicant for, a sponsored visa.

245AR Prohibition on asking for or receiving a benefit in return for the occurrence of a sponsorship-related event

  1. A person (the first person) contravenes this subsection if:
    1. the first person asks for, or receives, a benefit from another person; and
    2. the first person asks for, or receives, the benefit in return for the occurrence of a sponsorship-related event.
  2. To avoid doubt, the first person contravenes subsection (1) even if the sponsorship-related event does not occur.
  3. Subsection (1) does not apply if the benefit is a payment of a reasonable amount for a professional service that has been provided, or is to be provided, by the first person or a third person.Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in this subsection (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

    Offence
  4. A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1). The physical elements of the offence are set out in that subsection.Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years or 360 penalty units, or both.Civil penalty provision
  5. A person is liable to a civil penalty if a person contravenes subsection (1).Civil penalty: 240 penalty units.
  6. A person who wishes to rely on subsection (3) in proceedings for a civil penalty order bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in that subsection.Note: It is not necessary to prove a person’s state of mind in proceedings for a civil penalty order (see section 486ZF).

 

The legislation was introduced addressing payment for visas activity through criminal, civil and administrative sanctions, and visa cancellation powers. Asking for, receiving, offering or providing a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or related employment is now illegal.

The payment for visas legislation applies to a range of temporary sponsored and permanent skilled employer nominated visas. It is unacceptable for sponsors, nominators, employers or third parties to make a personal gain through a payment for visa arrangement.

New criminal penalties of up to two years imprisonment and/or penalties of up to $324,000 for each instance apply to people requesting or receiving a benefit in return for a sponsorship event. Civil penalties of up to $216,000 may apply for people found to have offered or provided a benefit in return for a sponsorship event occurring. In addition to these penalties, if the people involved in this conduct hold a visa, either temporary or permanent, this may also be subject to cancellation. If visa applicants are involved, their applications can be refused.

Payment for visas undermines the integrity of skilled work programmes, which address genuine skill shortages in the Australia labour market by making employees available from overseas.

For more information about what constitutes payment for visas behaviour including the list of temporary sponsored and permanent skilled employer nominated visas affected, go to: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work-1.

If you have been a victim of, or are aware of payment for visas conduct, please report it to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection: http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/report-suspicious-activities-behaviour.

————————————————————————–

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/18th Feb, 2016

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Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Competition for NRIs/PIOs

Sydney, 18 June, 2018

The Department of Posts of India is organizing a “Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign” at international level for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Person of Indian Origin (PIOs). The theme of the letter writing campaign is “Letter to my motherland” inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s “Amar Desher Mati“.  The letter is to be written in English/Hindi or any of the official languages mentioned in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India.

2. The campaign will have two categories viz. (i)  upto 18 years and (ii) above 18 years.  The letter is to be handwritten on plain A-4 size paper with a word limit not exceeding 1000 words.   The entries are to be sent to Assistant Director General (Philately), Department of Posts, Room No. 108, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001. 

3. The entries will be accepted from 01.07.2018 till 30.09.2018.  A scanned copy of the entry may be submitted on MyGov portal by 30.09.2018 but it is compulsory that a hard copy of the letter bearing dispatch postmark of not later than 30.09.2018 be sent by post.  All non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) living outside India can participate in the International Level Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign.  Details of the Campaign are attached. The top three letters in each category will be awarded prizes as mentioned in attached details of the campaign.

4. For details please log on to www.indiapost.gov.in

_____________________________

Received from

Consulate General of India

Sydney

Level 1, 265, Castlereagh Street,

Sydney, NSW 2000

http://cgisydney.org/

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There Is No Excuse For Elder Abuse

Sydney, 15 June, 2018

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness day. Elder Abuse is not uncommon, and deserves the attention of all in the community.  http://www.un.org/en/events/elderabuse/

It is estimated that as many as 10 per cent of older Australians are estimated to be affected by elder abuse, with financial abuse the most common form. More than $3 billion is lost to scams and fraud each year, with Commonwealth Bank data indicating that 76 percent of those affected by scam activity are aged over 50. It is likely more Australians will fall victim to financial abuse in the future, with those aged over 65 set to account for 25 per cent of the population by 2050.

More info:

https://elderabuseawarenessday.org.au/

https://www.agedcareguide.com.au/talking-aged-care/world-unites-for-elder-abuse-awareness-day

The report in https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/punjabi/en/audiotrack/concerns-over-elder-abuse-punjabi-community says that at least 31% elders from Indian Australian community over and above the age of 65 suffer one form of abuse or neglect. The SBS report also says “The most common form of abuse faced by parents of Indians living in Australia is usually financial”.

It appears that elder abuse may be more common in Indian Australian community. I am aware of many examples of physical abuse and one recent example of financial abuse, which involved transfer of a large sum of money from a lady, who had dementia and short-term memory issues. Unfortunately, roles of Banking staff was questionable and is a complaint matter now.

Greater action is needed now to protect older Australians. It is a moral duty of everyone to prevent abuse of elders. Banks must play a central role in raising awareness of the issue and helping to protect customers, especially elders, from financial abuse, scams and fraud.

Knowing that financial form of elder abuse is common, it was heartening to know that one of the prominent Banks, CBA, has commenced a program today to educate their employees in identifying elder financial abuse as well as providing practical advice on tips and traps to older customers and their families.   The infographic as well as a detailed Safe and Savvy guide will be available for customers online today and in all of our branches from July. www.commbank.com.au/safeandsavvy

CBA World Elder Abuse Awareness Day infographic

Even though it’s hard to discuss, the more we understand what elder abuse, including financial abuse, is, the more we can identify it, talk about it, and take steps to prevent it from happening. More info: customeradvocate@cba.com.au and www.commbank.com.au/customeradvocate

 

 


Dr Yadu Singh

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Chand Raat Eid Festival in Sydney was hugely successful

Sydney, 14 June, 2018

I was honoured to be invited to attend The 20th Chand Raat Eid Celebration in Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill, NSW. 20,000+ people attended the event. Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian MP, Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP and Lord Mayor of City of Parramatta Council, Andrew Wilson were in attendance, along with many MPs and Councilors.

It was a hugely successful festival with jam packed crowd.

Congratulations, Syed Atiq Ul Hassan. And thank you very much for the invitation.

Eid Mubarak!

Dr Yadu Singh

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Ken-Betwa Link Project has more questions than answers

June, 12, 2018

(Pics have been taken from Google. I don’t claim ownership of any pic)

Ken-Betwa Link, linking these two rivers, is in news these days. These rivers originate in Vindhya region of Madhya Pradesh, and travel through Bundelkhand, before merging with River Yamuna in Bundelkhand.

Ken is a smaller river compared to Betwa. Ken used to be a perennial river, but has become almost a seasonal river over last several decades due to a variety of reasons. Deforestation and massive sand mining are two important reasons. Not much flow is in the river during post-Monsoon season.

Following links provide some insight into the subject. 👇👇

Amazing experience of Yatra along the Majestic Ken River

https://scroll.in/article/829772/where-is-the-data-to-support-the-governments-rationale-for-linking-the-ken-and-betwa-rivers

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ken-betwa-link-centre-agrees-to-mps-demand-to-merge-phases/articleshow/64564767.cms

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-s-first-river-inter-linking-project-ken-betwa-hits-roadblock/story-d8x3ZqSG3nqJktwd93Ea4N.html

https://m.hindustantimes.com/static/river-sutra/ken-betwa-uttar-pradesh/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/mp-wins-ken-water-sharing-battle-with-up/articleshow/63917245.cms

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/specials/rivers-of-contention/article8637408.ece

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blink/cover/a-river-on-a-rocky-course/article8650557.ece

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/m.timesofindia.com/india/centre-to-fund-90-of-cost-to-get-ken-betwa-linking-started/amp_articleshow/62666856.cms

Ken river is an important source of livelihood for people in Panna and Banda Districts of Bundelkhand. Not only it provides drinking water, but it also provides water for irrigation.

National Water Development Agency (NWDA), under Union Government of India, calls Ken river to be a “water surplus” river and Betwa river to be a “water deficit” river. They want to link Ken river with Betwa river via a canal. This will divert water from Ken to Betwa river near Tikamgarh. This would help people mostly in Chhattarpur, Jhansi and Tikamgarh.

Everybody, who has any real knowledge about river Ken, knows that Ken doesn’t have much water. NWDA has not publicly disclosed as to how they call Ken to be “water surplus”.

River-linking projects are supposed to deal with the issues of recurring droughts and floods in India. There are a total of 30 such projects-14 in Himalayan basin and 16 in peninsular basin. Ken-Betwa link is under the latter category.

There is much concern about Ken-Betwa link project.

  1. NWDA has not disclosed how Ken is a water surplus system, when there is no practical evidence of it.
  2. There has not been a proper and transparent consultation with people.
  3. There is serious lack of awareness about it among people. I called up several people in Banda, UP today. They either didn’t know much about it or, worse, felt that water will flow from Betwa to Ken.
  4. Out of 78MW electricity produced from the dams, which will be constructed under the project, almost 30% of the electricity will be consumed in pumping water from Ken into a higher altitude Betwa river.
  5. This project will help Chhattarpur, Jhansi and Tikamgarh, but is unlikely to help Panna, Banda and Mahoba. There is a real risk that people in Banda and Panna will be severely affected.
  6. The project appears to be based on unscientific and unverifiable data. If the data is scientific, it has not been publicly shared.
  7. Ken needs to be a flowing river, but it’s not certain if it will be so, with recent agreement between UP & MP Governments.

I am originally from the region of Banda/Panna and know the situation regarding Ken river.

I am concerned about the real possibility of major harm coming to people along the Ken river, because of diversion of water from Ken river, without full understanding and explanation of the pros & cons. It doesn’t make much sense to help a set of people at the cost of another set of people. Political consideration of any particular politician(s) can’t be the justification for any project.

Local MPs-Mr Bhairav Prasad Mishra, Mr Pushpendra Singh Chandel and Mr Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, as well as local MLAs/MLCc, must take a keen interest in the pros and cons of the project, and make their voices heard. Keeping mum is not an option.

Local media too must study this project and raise the appropriate issues.

Intelligentsia from the local region, especially Banda and Panna, must discharge its duties, just like Rajmata from Panna did recently.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Our team work for Keep NSW Safe achieves a successful outcome on section 20D of Anti-Discrimination Act

Sydney, 5 June, 2018

FIAN LOGOFederation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) is pleased that NSW Government has decided to amend section 20D of NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. FIAN is a key and founder member of Keep NSW Safe keep-nsw-safe-logo-6.png team, which has worked actively, effectively and collaboratively with all stakeholders over last several years to achieve this spectacular result. http://www.keepnswsafe.com/

This will PROTECT DIVERSE COMMUNITIES from individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion, sexuality and HIV/AIDS status, and will carry a maximum three-year jail sentence and a fine of $11,000. The legislation will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of publicly threatening or inciting violence against people on the these grounds.

The path of success was difficult, because a few ministers were not keen to amend section 20D, but active work by ministers like Ray Williams and Mark Speakman has overcome the resistance.

I was made aware of this development by Multicultural Minister on 26 May, 2018, when he addressed a multicultural community forum in Strathfield, but was requested to not make it public. I kept my word.

It is indeed great to see NSW Government has listened to the concerns of our communities and responded to them in a positive way. Nobody can be allowed to harm the harmony among the communities in NSW. Punishment will be given if anyone tries to incite violence against others.

“The new laws send a very clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate behaviour which risks people’s safety”, Mr Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism said, and we wholeheartedly support him.

Attorney General, Mark Speakman’s press Release is here. Mark Speakman press release on 20D

Thank you to Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Government, especially Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams and Attorney General, Mark Speakman for this much needed and overdue action.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/they-will-not-go-unpunished-three-year-jail-terms-under-new-race-hate-laws-20180605-p4zjn0.html

Dr Yadu Singh

fianinc1@gmail.com

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN)

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