Audit exposes serious flaws on tracking visa holders breaching their conditions

The Australian National Audit Office has released a report on the Department of Home Affairs’ ability to manage compliance with visa conditions.

The report found that budget cuts had compromised the Department of Home Affairs effectiveness on tracking people overstaying and working in breach of their visa conditions.

Recommendations in the report include:

  • Improving the Department of Home Affairs’ data collection and analysis
  • Stepping up Immigration’s compliance activities
  • Improved training and reporting on compliance activities

We expect that additional resources will be allocated to the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that employers are not hiring workers in breach of visa conditions from FY2016-17.

Some of the statistics in the report illustrate the scale of the immigration compliance issue:

  • Visas granted in 2014-15: 4.3 million visitor visas, 301,000 student visas, 300,000 other temporary and permanent visas.
  • There were 61,980 people who overstayed their visas in 2015. There were 17,370 people who overstayed for 15 years or more, effectively integrating into the community.

References:

https://www.anao.gov.au/Publications/Audit-Reports/2015-2016/Managing-Compliance-with-Visa-Conditions/Audit-summary#H2_SupportingFindings

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