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On A Skilled Visa? The Government May Request Access To Your Tax Affairs

skilled visa
Those applying for or holding a skilled Australian visa may have to provide information about their tax affairs to the Government. Interstaff set out the rule changes and the implications.

Written by Sheila Woods of Interstaff 20 December, 2018

If you are on a skilled visa or applying for one you may be interested to know that as a result of recent legislative changes, the Government can now request your Tax File Number to cross match your financial records with your visa information and more easily identify cases of non compliance with visa and sponsorship obligations. It’s a positive step towards enhancing the integrity of Australia’s skilled migration program and ensuring visa holders are protected from exploitation, such as underpayment. Find out more.


What has changed? 

On 13 December 2018, changes under the Migration and Other Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Integrity) Act 2018 came into effect to enable the Department of Home Affairs to:

  • Publicly disclose information about businesses who breach their sponsorship obligations
  • Request a skilled visa holder’s Tax File Number to cross match information with financial records such as employment history, hours of work and salary


Requests for Tax File Numbers to cross match visa holder information

The Department may begin requesting a visa holder’s Tax File Number for the purposes of:

  • Verifying a person’s identity
  • Ensuring compliance with migration regulations such as sponsorship obligations and visa conditions
  • Developing policy related to visas
  • Research, intelligence gathering and identifying visa trends or risks

The change is therefore designed to enhance the integrity of the skilled visa program.


For which visas can the Department request Tax File Numbers? 

Tax File Numbers may be requested for people holding the below skilled visas:

Employer Sponsored Visas:

  • Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) 482 and 457 Visa
  • 186/187 Employer Sponsored Permanent Residence Visas

General Skilled Migration Visas:

  • 189/190/489 General Skilled Migration Visas

Other Skilled and Graduate Visas:

  • 485 Temporary Graduate Visa
  • 476 Skilled-Recognised Graduate Visa
  • 887 Skilled Regional Visa
  • 124 and 858 Distinguished Talent Visas

Business and Investor Visas:

  • 132 Business Talent Visa
  • 890 Business Owner Visa
  • 891 Investor Visa
  • 892 and 893 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visas
  • 188 and 888 Business Innovation and Investment Visas


What the changes mean for visa holders

Visa holders need to make sure they are aware of the visa conditions relating to their particular visa at all times and understand how changes to their hours of work, salary, job description and various other factors could impact their obligations. Penalties apply for not complying with visa and sponsorship obligations, and the changes will enable the Department of Home Affairs to more easily identify these obligations are being met. As part of our assistance with your skilled visa application, our migration agents can help you understand how your visa conditions apply under a number of instances.


Interstaff assist people all over the world with the legal and professional process to travel or migrate to Australia for temporary work or permanent residence. Established in 1988, Interstaff has been trusted by migrating individuals and businesses for over 30 years and are the strongest group of experts for visa work in Australia. MARN: 0533879.