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Immigration detention in Australia

We treat all people in detention with respect, dignity and fairness. While in an immigration detention facility, we provide appropriate food, medical, recreational and other support services, including mental health services.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Important information for visitors to an immigration detention​ facility

Updated on 9 August 2022

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in each jurisdiction. Visit information can change at any time. Check our website regularly.

General information

We recognise that visits from relatives, friends, community contacts and relevant professionals are important for the wellbeing of detainees.

The ABF and our service providers are committed to providing a safe environment to all immigration detention facility visitors. To make the visiting process as simple and efficient possible we:

A person must apply to visit a detainee. Approval of a visitor application is subject to operational considerations.

Detainees must first consent to a visit, unless required by law to accept a visitor.

If you wish to visit an immigration detention facility, you must undergo security screening and follow COVID-19 measures. If you do not wish to undergo screening, you cannot enter an immigration detention facility.

We encourage community members to communicate with detainees through: 

  • phone calls
  • Skype or 
  • other audio-visual tools. 

Detainees have access to landline telephones. They can make calls to Australian phone numbers free of charge. Detainees also have unrestricted access to personal mobile phones. They can obtain phone cards using Individual Allowance Program points.

​Visits to immigration detention facilities during COVID-19

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 in immigration detention facilities is a key priority of the ABF. We monitor outbreaks in the community and follow the advice of the Public Health Units and other health officials. The ABF is committed to the health and safety of all detainees, visitors and staff in immigration detention facilities.

We take a risk-based approach to in-person visits to immigration detention facilities. The COVID-19 situation, health advice and operational settings vary across state and territory jurisdictions. ​​

Detainees in operational or medical quarantine, or in clinical isolation, cannot have in-person visits until their isolation or quarantine has finished.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available to all detainees.

The current status of the Immigration Detention Visitor Program for in-person visits is summarised in the table below.

​Immigration detention facility visiting status

State/Territory

Status

Queensland

Resumed

Western Australia

Resumed

Victoria

Resumed

New South Wales

Resumed

South Australia

Resumed​​​​

Northern Territory

Contact detention.visits@abf.gov.au

Christmas Island

Contact the relevant immigration det​ention facility.​

If you have any questions, please contact the relevant immigration detention facility.

Conditions of Entry

All visitors must comply with the Conditions of Entry​. This includes enhanced safety measures such as physical distancing and screening measures.

If you do not comply with the Conditions of Entry, including safety measures and instructions from staff, your visit may be refused or terminated.  It may also negatively impact the approval of any application you make for future visits.

Health screening requirements

All visitors will be requested to undergo health screening as a condition of entry. The health screening process is designed to reduce the risk of illness, including COVID-19, entering our immigration detention facilities. This may include, for example, a health screening questionnaire, temperature triaging and/or COVID-19 surveillance testing.

Health screening measures are regularly reviewed and updated and can change at short notice pending COVID-19 community outbreaks, public health advice and applicable health orders.

If you do not pass the health screening process, or there is doubt about your health status, you will be refused entry to the immigration detention facility and you will need to reschedule your visit.

The health screening process takes approximately 15 minutes per person.  This is subject to variation due to individual circumstances. We ask you to be patient. We are taking these precautions to keep people safe.

COVID-19 vaccination

Visitors to an immigration detention facilities are required to be up-to-date with their COVID‑19 vaccinations. Some exceptions may apply. For further information, refer to the state/territory specific information below.

To be considered up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, a person must have completed all the doses recommended for their age and health status.

​You will be required to provide evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status upon arrival at the immigration detention facility.  It must be verified by the contracted service provider as part of the health screening process. Acceptable evidence includes (but may not be limited to) and Australian digital (COVID-19) vaccination certificate or immunisation history statement.

For information about COVID-19 vaccinations, refer to the Department of Health.  You can also contact your health care provider. ​​​