Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Head office of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in , ACT.
|Formed||18 September 2013|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Headquarters||6 Chan Street, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory|
|Motto||"build Australia's future through the well-managed movement and settlement of people"|
|Employees||8,506 (at June 2014)|
The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, currently Michael Pezzullo, who reports to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, currently the Hon. Peter Dutton MP and the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, currently Senator the Hon. James McGrath.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection was formed by way of an Administrative Arrangements Order issued on 18 September 2013 and replaced the majority of the functions previously performed by the former Department of Immigration and Citizenship; with the exception of most settlement and multicultural affairs programs that were assumed by the Department of Human Services. Additionally, the Australian Border Force and associated policy was assumed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (previously managed under the authority of the Attorney-General's portfolio, a move intended to ensure stronger integration of border protection resources.
Following Federation in 1901, immigration to Australia was handled by the Minister for Home Affairs and from 1932 until 1945 by the Minister for the Interior, except that between January 1925 and January 1928 Reginald Wilson and Thomas Paterson were Ministers for Markets and Migration.
In July 1945, the Department of Immigration was established as Australia launched a massive immigration program following World War II. The then Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell promoted mass immigration with the slogan "populate or perish". Since 1945, the department's names, functions and responsibilities have changed several times.
Department name Abbreviation Start End Reference Department of Immigration DI 1945 1974 Department of Labor and Immigration DLI 1974 1975 Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (I) DIEA 1975 1987 Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs DILGEA 1987 1993 Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (II) DIEA 1993 1996 Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs DIMA 1996 2001 Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs DIMIA 2001 2006 Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (II) DIMA 2006 2007 Department of Immigration and Citizenship DIAC 2007 2013 Department of Immigration and Border Protection DIBP 2013 present
In recent times, the department has been the centre of controversy in regards to the Australian Government's policies of mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals, the Pacific Solution, and the treatment of asylum seekers that was criticised in the Palmer and Comrie reports in 2005.
The Rudd Labor government announced the end of mandatory detention in Australia in July 2008, unless the asylum seeker was deemed to pose a risk to the wider community, such as those who have repeatedly breached their visa conditions or those who have security or health risks.
On 1 July 2015, the Migration Review Tribunal, the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Social Security Appeals Tribunal became divisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
In an Administrative Arrangements Order made on 18 September 2013, the functions of the department were broadly classified into the following matters:
- Entry, stay and departure arrangements for non-citizens
- Border immigration control
- Ethnic affairs
- Customs and border control other than quarantine and inspection
The size and composition of Australia’s permanent migration program is reviewed annually to maximise its potential. The 2010–11 migration program was set at 168,700 places—an overall total which was unchanged from 2009–10. Within this total, the skill stream was allocated 113 850 places to address current and emerging skill shortages in critical occupations and regions. The family stream was set at 54 550 places, recognising the benefits that accrue when Australians have their parents, partners, carers or children join them to live in Australia permanently.
On 1 July 2010, a new skilled occupation list was introduced for the general skilled migration. A new points test emphasising the importance of English language proficiency, work experience and higher level qualifications was announced and implemented on 1 July 2011. In addition, state migration plans were implemented for each state and territory to provide greater flexibility for state and territory governments to nominate skilled migrants in a broader range of occupations specific to their skill shortage needs than are currently offered through the skilled occupation list.
Australia is within the top three humanitarian resettlement countries in the world. Under the humanitarian program, the department granted 13,799 visas in 2010–11. Of these, 8971 were granted offshore and 4828 were granted onshore. The Woman at Risk target of 12 per cent of refugee grants (720 grants) was exceeded, with 759 visas granted.
The introduction of complementary protection legislation into parliament on 24 February 2011, was a development in relation to Australia's commitment to fulfilling its international obligations under the Refugee Convention. This was expected to improve the efficiency of decision-making by providing more accountable assessments of asylum seekers’ protection claims.
The department’s citizenship course provides an alternative pathway for taking the final step towards becoming an Australian citizen. In 2010–11, 27 citizenship courses were delivered across metropolitan and regional areas in Australia, and about 74,000 citizenship tests were administered globally during the year.
On 26 January 2011, Australia Day, approximately 13,000 people became Australian citizens in about 325 citizenship ceremonies hosted by local councils and community groups across the country. Brisbane City Council, despite the devastating floods, hosted the largest Australia Day 2011 citizenship ceremony with more than 1,000 people becoming citizens at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
There are more than 30 million movements across Australia’s borders every year. By 2020, indications are that these numbers are likely to increase to approximately 45 million movements per year.
The department collects biometrics to help verify the identity of visa applicants in any future visa encounters. From December 2010, biometrics began to be collected across 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. This initiative was undertaken in collaboration with the predecessor of UK Visas and Immigration.
- Visa policy of Australia
- List of Australian Commonwealth Government entities
- Migration Agents Registration Authority
- Cornelia Rau
- Vivian Solon
- CA 9431: Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 9 April 2014
- Australian Public Service Commission (2014), Main features:APS at a glance, archived from the original on 5 October 2014
- "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- "Machinery of Government Changes". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Packham, Ben (18 September 2013). "Tony Abbott puts broom through bureaucracy". The Australian. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Abbott, Tony (18 September 2013). "The Coalition will restore strong, stable and accountable government". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- Wilson, Lauren (19 September 2013). "Coalition carves up the public service". The Australian. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "From Calwell Onward: Immigration Ministers in the Library's Oral History Collection". National Library of Australia. June 2005.
- "Immigration to Australia During the 20th Century – Historical Impacts on Immigration Intake, Population Size and Population Composition – A Timeline" (PDF). Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia). 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
- Department of Immigration and Border Protection, What's in a Name?, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, archived from the original on 23 January 2014
- Palmer Report: Two Years of Progress, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
- "The Amalgamated AAT - Administrative Appeals Tribunal". aat.gov.au.
- "The year at a glance - Annual Report 2010–11". Immi.gov.au. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Program 1.1 Visa and migration - Annual Report 2010–11". Immi.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Migration programme statistics". border.gov.au.
- "Program 2.1 Refugee and humanitarian assistance - Annual Report 2010-2011". Immi.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 61a Complementary Protection". Immi.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Program 6.1 Multicultural and citizenship services—Outcome 6—Annual Report 2010-2011". Immi.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Program 3.1 Border management - Annual Report 2010-2011". Immi.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Programs 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4—immigration detention statistics and services - Annual Report 2010–11". Immi.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-04.