Passport stamp needed to keep working

The Immigration Department is reminding people awaiting outcomes of immigration decisions or appeals to apply for a “working by operation of law” passport stamp if they want to legally continue to work.

Anyone appealing work permit or permanent residency refusals, people with pending permanent residency applications, and anyone awaiting decisions on key employee applications, may be eligible to keep working.

To streamline the process, which has been in operation for years, the department has issued a new form for working by operation of law, or WOL, applicants and their employers.

According to the Immigration Department’s Enforcement Unit, there has been an increasing number of cases of failure to comply with having a valid WOL stamp or to pay the requisite fees on each expiration.

In addition to hefty fees, employees and employers may be prosecuted for overstaying and of causing a person to illegally remain in the jurisdiction, respectively. Fines are usually two or three times the amount of person’s work permit fee.

Once an appeal decision is made, the WOL stamp is voided immediately. The maximum length of time authorised on a WOL for a work permit appeal is the period of the person’s term limit. The stamp also covers anyone awaiting permanent residency, and in those cases it is valid for up to a year.

There is a $100 processing fee for the WOL stamp, in addition to an application fee which is the same amount as the applicant’s work permit fee.

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