Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Australian Immigration and Customs departments to merge in July

by Ray Clancy on June 26, 2015

in Australia Immigration

From the beginning of July 2015 the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) is combining with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, creating the new Australian Border Force.

It means that information will be available on a new website and email addresses will also be changed. The new site will be located at www.border.gov.au.

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The new Australia Border Force will come into being as of July 2015

From 01 July internet searches for immi.gov.au and customs.gov.au will redirect to the new address and the new website will combine information from the Department and ACBPS websites and include new information about the ABF.

The website will have a new look and feel and will be optimised for mobile devices and there will be ongoing updates to the website after 01 July 2015. Some pages will be automatically redirected to the new location, but users will need to fix any broken links, bookmarks or favourites in their systems.

Some other websites owned by the Department will remain in their current form. These include the Minister’s and Assistant Minister’s websites, the Translating and Interpreting Service website and the Office of the MARA website.

Content from other sites owned by the Department will be integrated with the new website. For example, products and information on citizenship, will be moved to the new website.

A spokesman said that applications that are currently accessed using the immi.gov.au or customs.gov.au websites, such as ImmiAccount, VEVO, ICS or the Customs Connect Facility, will not be affected by this change and will continue to function as normal.

‘These changes do not have any immediate effect on visa or citizenship applications or processes. Existing application or any new application will continue to be processed in the same way. The department will continue to assess applications according to our service standards,’ the spokesman explained.

‘Applicants should continue to use the contact details and application numbers provided to them by the department or their case officer. The contact details for the department have not changed and there are no immediate changes to service centre locations,’ he added.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that the ABF will keep Australia’s borders secure for legitimate trade, travel and migration and will work closely with Commonwealth, state and territory and international law enforcement partners

‘The ABF will be the nation’s first line of defence against individuals and networks seeking to undermine our border controls or threaten our community. It will be the operational arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection,’ he explained.

‘ABF officers will be supported by the latest technology, and their training will ensure the workforce is capable, responsive and agile,’ he added.

ABF officers will have substantially greater powers than either Customs or Immigration officials have currently. They will carry guns, gather intelligence and have the power to detain offenders. They will be working at airports, shipping hubs, immigration detention centres and on the high seas.

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