Many Filipinos come to Australia through a Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457). This visa is one of the most commonly applied for by our kababayans who are able to find Australian employers to sponsor them to live and work in Australia.
If you are a 457 visa holder or planning to apply for a 457 Visa, you must be certain that there will not be any grounds for your visa to be cancelled.
One of the most prevalent reasons for a 457 Visa cancellation is a relationship breakdown between the primary and secondary visa holders. Considering that the secondary visa holder’s visa was granted based on being a member of the family unit of the primary visa holder, it is only logical that if the relationship has ended, the conditions that allowed the secondary visa holder to be granted the visa no longer exist.
Once the Department has been notified by a 457 visa holder about the breakdown in the relationship between the primary and secondary visa holders, officers are bound to get in contact with the secondary visa holder to inform him/her about the possible issuance of a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation and advice him/her to apply for a different visa if he/she wishes to stay in Australia.
In case the secondary visa holder informs the Department that he/she and his/her partner have reconciled, officers will need to verify this with the primary visa holder. Officers may accept a statutory declaration from both the primary and secondary visa holders corroborating that they have, indeed, reconciled and continued living together.
If officers have not been able to establish contact with the secondary visa holder after considerable effort, or if a contact has been established and the visa holder informs the officers that he/she will not apply for a different visa, they will be issuing a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation.
The secondary visa holder is given a chance to respond to this notice. Afterwards, the officers must take into account the visa holder’s response. They must be fair and reasonable at all times when assessing the pertinent factors of the case, which may include, but are not limited to, the best interests of any dependent children listed as secondary visa holders. Visa cancellation action will be initiated if the officers determine that the reasons for cancelling outweigh those for not cancelling.
The Family Section will also be consulted before a decision is made on visa cancellation in cases where custody of children is pending in the Family Court, or if other complex circumstances exist.
Even though a secondary visa holder’s visa is cancelled, some sponsorship obligations still apply until his/her departure from Australia, or the grant of another substantive visa. Therefore, with the consent of the former secondary visa holder, officers will contact the employer immediately to inform them of the cancellation.