Unlawful Employment – Does It Affect Your Australian Visa?

31 Mar


The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) policy in relation to what it calls “unlawful” employment is pretty harsh.

In a nutshell, if you don’t have a valid visa or you are working contrary to your visa conditions – that employment cannot be counted as employment experience for any visa type or points test.

The DHA policy is below.* It is quite self-explanatory.

Unlawful employment excluded from consideration:

…… a period of employment in Australia cannot be counted unless the applicant:

  • held a substantive visa; a Bridging A visa; or a Bridging B visa; with permission to work during that period; and
  • complied with the conditions of that visa.

If an applicant has breached the conditions of their visa by working when they had no work rights, or by working in excess of the amount of work allowed, the period of employment in breach of visa conditions cannot be counted under the employment experience factor in the regulations.

For example, a Student visa holder who was subject to a condition that they not work more than 40 hours a fortnight but who was employed in their nominated skilled occupation for 45 hours a fortnight while their course was in session could not use that employment to claim points under the regulations.

 *taken from the DHA Procedures Advice Manual (PAMs).


If you are concerned that you may be/have undertaken unlawful employment and what that could mean for your future in Australia, we strongly suggest you book a consultation with one of our registered migration agents immediately.

Need confidential expert professional advice about your situation? Call us on +61 3 9573 5200

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