Australian Border Force Cracks Down on Foreign Worker Exploitation in NSW

Coffs Harbour, Police

In a state-wide campaign in May, the Australian Border Force (ABF) targeted foreign worker exploitation within New South Wales’ hospitality industry.

The ABF Sponsor Monitoring Unit closely monitored businesses employing foreign workers to ensure compliance with visa conditions, sponsorship obligations, and equal pay.

Dedicated ABF teams conducted 45 activities across Wollongong, Newcastle, Nelsons Bay, Shoal Bay, Shellharbour, Coffs Harbour, and Canberra, focusing on preventing exploitation before it happens.

The blitz involved monitoring businesses with sponsored workers, educational visits for those seeking visa and sponsorship pathways, and awareness sessions for existing foreign workers on their rights and responsibilities within the Australian workforce.

Superintendent Brett Totten emphasized that preventing foreign worker exploitation is a top priority for the ABF, regardless of location.

He stated, “Sponsored workers play a critical role within the Australian economy, filling vital vacancies across the country.

Ensuring all employees, including Australian citizens and sponsored workers, receive appropriate wages and suitable working conditions is paramount.

Employers engaging in exploitation may face substantial financial penalties, cancellation of sponsorship agreements, and a ban from future sponsorship applications.

Further information on sponsorship opportunities, obligations, and paths for skilled foreign workers can be found at www.

If you suspect individuals, businesses, or employers of facilitating visa fraud or exploiting workers, contact Border Watch.