Department of Immigration and Citizenship
|Department of Immigration and Citizenship|
|Offices in Canberra|
|Superseding agency||Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA)|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Annual budget||A$2.2 billion|
|Minister responsible||Brendan O'Connor, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship|
|Agency executives||Kate Lundy, Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Martin Bowles, Acting Secretary
Wendy Southern PSM, Deputy Secretary
Peter Vardos PSM, Deputy Secretary
Elizabeth Cosson AM CSC, Deputy Secretary
Matt Cahill, A/g Deputy Secretary
|Child agencies||Migration Review Tribunal
Refugee Review Tribunal
Migration Agents Registration Authority
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is an Australian Government department. It is responsible for immigration arrangements, border control, citizenship, ethnic affairs, multicultural affairs. For the 2010-11 financial year the department's operating budget was A$2.2 billion.
The purpose of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is to 'enrich Australia through the well managed movement and settlement of people'. Its objectives are to maximise the economic and social benefits for Australian immigrates, to foster an Australian society that is cohesive, diverse and inclusive, to improve public confidence in national security, particularly through effective border management and to identify and deliver productivity and improved risk management capability in an environment of fiscal restraint.
After World War II, Australia launched a massive immigration program. The then Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell promoted mass immigration with the slogan "populate or perish" and established the Department of Immigration in 1945.
Since 1945, the department's functions and responsibilities have changed several times.
- DI - Department of Immigration (1945 – 1974)
- DLI - Department of Labor and Immigration (1974 – 1975)
- DIEA - Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1976 – 1987)
- DILGEA - Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (1987 – 1993)
- DIEA - Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1993 – 1996)
- DIMA - Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (1996 – 2001)
- DIMIA - Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (2001 – 2006)
- DIMA - Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (2006 – 2007)
- DIAC - Department of Immigration and Citizenship (2007 – )
The department is occasionally 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.
Migration program 
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.
Humanitarian program 
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.
Border security 
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 UK Border Agency.
Immigration detention 
A new immigration detention services group was established in 2011 to implement policy, manage contractors and coordinate detention operations.
See also 
- Cornelia Rau
- List of Australian Commonwealth Government entities
- Migration Agents Registration Authority
- Vivian Solon
- "Who We Are - About Us - About the Department". Immi.gov.au. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- http://www.immi.gov.au/about/reports/budget/budget08/pbs/2008-09-pbs-05-overview-resources.pdf Agency Resources and Planned Performance
- "Immigration to Australia During the 20th Century – Historical Impacts on Immigration Intake, Population Size and Population Composition – A Timeline" (pdf of 7 pages). Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia). 2001. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "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.
- "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.