Fact Sheet: information for people already in Australia

What is Operation Sovereign Borders?

Established by the Australian Government, Operation Sovereign Borders is a military-led border security operation aimed at combating maritime people smuggling and protecting Australia’s borders.

Australia remains committed to ending the criminal activity of people smuggling and preventing vulnerable people from risking their lives trying to reach Australia in unsafe boats.

It has been almost three years since the last people smuggling boat made it to Australia. All people smuggling boats that have attempted to reach Australia have been intercepted and returned to their country of departure.

What Are Australia’s border protection policies?

Australia has put in place tough border protection measures to undermine and combat maritime people smuggling, prevent loss of life at sea and protect Australia’s borders.

Anyone who tries to come to Australia by boat without a visa will be turned back to their country of departure, settlement in Australia will never be an option.  If your family and friends get on a boat without a visa they will not end up in Australia.

Do the rules apply to everyone?

Yes. Anyone who attempts to travel illegally by boat to Australia will be turned back to their country of departure. The rules apply to everyone: families, children, unaccompanied children, educated and skilled - there are no exceptions.

Don’t trust people smugglers, they tell lies…

We know that people smugglers continue to tell lies to desperate people looking to make Australia home. People smugglers are nothing more than criminals who will put your families lives at risk, and take their money.

People smugglers will tell your friends and family that it’s easy to get to Australia, or that the policies are softening. Tell them not to believe the lies! You cannot make Australia home without a valid visa. The Australian Government has not and will not change its strong position.

People smugglers will say that the laws don’t apply to them or that the law will change soon. The laws apply to your friends and family, there are no exceptions. Don’t let them go!

Anyone who tries to come to Australia illegally by boat will not be settled in Australia. Tell your family and friends to think again before they waste their money.

How can my loved ones make Australia my home?

People who are considering resettlement in Australia, or who have friends and families considering resettlement in Australia should remember that there is a legal way to come to Australia. If you try to come to Australia illegally you will never make Australia home.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has an offshore resettlement programme, as part of the Australian Government’s Refugee and Humanitarian Programme. The programme involves resettlement of people needing humanitarian assistance to Australia who do not have any other durable solution available to them.

For those not eligible for the offshore resettlement programme, wanting to come to Australia to work, they will need to apply for a working visa.

For more information on the legal migration methods please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.