There are a wide range of immigration offences with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment, or both. People who break these laws can be charged and prosecuted. Some of the offences relate to unlawful non-citizens, including offences related to helping unlawful non-citizens.
Offences by an unlawful non-citizen
Some of the offences that an unlawful non-citizen could be charged with are:
|section 197A||Escaping from detention||4 042 000|
|section 197B||Manufacturing, possessing, using or distributing a weapon by a detainee||3 198 000|
|section 222||Contravening a court order restratining dealings with property||0|
|section 234||Presenting false or forged documents or making false or misleading statements in connection with entry to Australia or a visa application to stay in Australia||0|
|section 235||Working in contrary to a condition on a visa prohibiting or restricting work or working without a visa||0|
|section 236||Using (for the purpose of entering or staying in Asutralia or identification) or possessing a visa granted to another person||0|
|section 257||Refusing or failing to answer, or falsely or misleadingly answering, a question put by detaining officer||0|
|section 229||Bringing a person into Australia without a valid visa which allows them to enter||0|
|sections 230-232||Bringing non-citizens into Australia secretly or helping them to come to Australia unlawfully||0|
|section 233E||To knowingly 'habour' an unlawful non-citizen, removee or deportee||0|
|section 233C||Presenting false or forged documents or making false or misleading statements in connection with entry to Australia or a visa application to stay in Australia which involves groups of 5 or more people||0|
|sections 240-241||Arranging marriage, pretending de facto relationship for the purpose of obtaining a partner visa||0|
|sections 243-245||Making false statements in support of a visa based on a marriage, de facto relationship (inlcuding making an application or sponsoring an application based on a non-genuine relationship)||0|
|sections 245AA-245AK||Offences in relation to allowing non-citizens to work without permission and obtaining a benefit in exchange of a sponsorship event||0|
|sections 280-285, 312, 334-335||Various offences relation to providing immigration assistance and representations||0|
A person may also be liable to prosecution under other Australian laws. For example, pursuant to Regulation 5.34 of the Regulations, Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth) applies under which it is an offence to aid, abet, counsel, procure, incite or conspire to commit an offence under the Migration Act 1958. Under the Statutory Declaration Act 1959, it is an offence to wilfully make a false statement in a statutory declaration.
Offences by an Employer
A person who knowingly or recklessly allows someone to work in breach of their visa or allows an unlawful no-citizen to work or refers them for work with another business can be charged with a criminal offence. For example, this includes employing the person, engaging them as an independent contractor, leasing a taxi to them as a driver or renting a room to a sex worker. The penalties for individuals are fines of up to $13,200 and/or 2 years’ imprisonment and for companies fines of up to $66,000 per unlawful worker. Where the unlawful worker is being exploited through slavery, forced labour or sexual servitude, the penalties for individuals are fines of up to $33,000 and/or 5 years’ imprisonment and for companies fines of up to $165,000 per unlawful worker.
It is important that employers and labour suppliers check work rights of any person they intend to employ, engage or refer.