COVID-19: Important information for visitors to an immigration detention facility
Updated on 07 August 2020
Victorian immigration detention facilities
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in Australia and around the world, the Australian Border Force (ABF) continues to consider the preventative measures in detention facilities in line with health advice.
A key focus of the ABF is to prevent the entry of COVID-19 into Immigration detention facilities.
It is for this reason that you can no longer drop-off (or pick-up) gifts, property and other items in-person at detention facilities in Victoria. Detainees continue to have access to mail/postal and other communication services.
In Victoria, our preference is that correspondence or documentation pertaining to legal advice or legal proceedings (legal documents) are delivered to detainees via email or postal services. If you are a legal representative or migration agent and there is an urgent requirement to personally deliver or serve legal documents, we may be able to facilitate this on an exceptional basis. In these exceptional circumstances, you will be required to produce evidence of your ‘Worker Permit’.
If you arrive at an Immigration Detention Facility and are suspected of breaching the Level 4 restrictions announced by the Premier of Victoria, you may be reported to the relevant authorities.
These changes are consistent with those being implemented more broadly across the Victorian community and are considered temporary and are being implemented as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cessation of personal and non-essential visits
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in Australia and around the world the Australian Border Force (ABF) continues to consider the preventative measures in Detention Facilities in line with health advice.
The key focus of the ABF is preventing the entry of COVID-19 to facilities. It is for this reason that the ABF ceased its visitor program with effect Tuesday 24 March 2020. These measures are NOT permanent and are continually being reviewed.
The changes are consistent with those being implemented more broadly across the community and are considered temporary and implemented as a direct response to the COVID-19 situation.
The ABF understands the important role visitors play in detainees' health and wellbeing and will provide each detainee with a $20 phone credit each week to support ongoing contact with family and community groups via their personal devices. This will continue until the measures are lifted for the visits program.
All visitors are encouraged to continue engaging with detainees through alternate means, including through phone calls, skype or other audio visual tools. We appreciate visitors' support and cooperation during this period.
For more information see the
Detention visitor program.
Visitors are welcome at immigration detention facilities. We recognise that visits from relatives, friends, community contacts and relevant professionals are important for the wellbeing of detainees.
We and our service providers are committed to providing all visitors to immigration detention facilities with a
safe environment. To make the visiting process as simple, efficient and stress free as possible we:
Visitors are generally permitted to visit 1 detainee per visit. We can consider exceptions in limited circumstances, for example where a visitor seeks to
visit a family group.
Detainees must first consent to a visit (unless required by law to accept a visitor).
If a visitor wishes to enter an immigration detention facility, they are required to undergo security screening. If you do not wish to undergo screening you cannot enter an immigration detention facility.
A person must apply to visit a detainee. Approval of a visitor application is subject to operational considerations.