Sponsored employees have often enquired as to whether their visa allows them to undertake voluntary work in Australia.
Under policy, sponsored visa holders are allowed to undertake voluntary unpaid work, as long as it does not affect the ability of the visa holder to work in the nominated position on a full time basis. Given the sponsor’s obligations towards the employee while in Australia, it is expected that the visa holder would obtain the agreement of their sponsor.
It is important to note that voluntary unpaid work is only acceptable if it would not normally attract remuneration. “Work” is defined as an activity in Australia that would normally attract remuneration. Therefore if a sponsored employee elects not to be paid, it does not follow that this becomes acceptable “voluntary unpaid work”.
The voluntary work that is permitted is therefore usually limited to unpaid work for a charitable organisation.
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