A Gazette (Notice of a Data Matching Program to Enhance Compliance in the Temporary Skilled Visa Program) was published in January 2019 which confirms the Department and ATO will now have direct access to each other's records under a 'Data Matching Program'.
The Department of Immigration will exchange data with the ATO to identify whether business sponsors are complying with their obligations (eg - paying visa holders correctly), and whether temporary skilled visa holders are complying with their visa conditions (eg - to work only for an approved employer, and to work only in the approved occupation).
Where non-compliance is identified, further action may be taken - for example, consideration may be given to cancellation of a visa or the approval of a sponsor.
In this data exchange program, the Department is the source and primary user agency whilst the ATO is the matching agency. The Department of Immigration will provide to the ATO -
- biographical details, including name, address, and date of birth of clients who are, or were in the three most recently completed financial years, holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) or Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) primary visas; and
- details of the these clients’ business sponsors.
These details will be electronically matched against ATO data holdings. Where there is a match, the ATO will return income and employment data for the relevant individual(s) to the Department. Data will be exchanged on a periodic basis. It is estimated that the total number of records shared will be around 680,000 which represents around 280,000 individuals.
The data matching program is likely to result in an increase in compliance audits in 2019.