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On August 31, 2016, the High Court in Australia ruled against the Federal Government’s previous working visa exemption to foreign workers on offshore vessels in Australia and declared that the measures are now invalid.

Employers are now required to obtain an employment visa (subclass 400 or subclass 457) for foreigners working on offshore vessels who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, otherwise employees will be considered as illegal workers.

Foreign workers will be subject to local pay and conditions with the work visa. The High Court’s ruling is final and takes effect immediately.

This is a very welcome outcome for the Maritime Union of Australia, who pursued the case against the Federal Government on the basis that this exemption would only encourage the employment of foreign workers on lower salaries, and would not be subject to appropriate safety conditions. In response, the Government has concerns about the cost burden and the impact on competitiveness in the oil and gas industry. This will restrict the ability of the industry to utilize its international workforce and its international contractors.

Crown advises its clients to obtain relevant working visas for affected foreign workers as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

No source available at the time of writing this alert. 

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC:

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