Immigration and Citizenship matters

The Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) is responsible for processing applications for Australian visas. The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has no jurisdiction over Home Affairs, however, Home Affairs sometimes refers visa applications to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) for security assessment. IGIS has jurisdiction only with regard to actions taken by ASIO, and not for other checks that Home Affairs may request.

Applications that have not been forwarded to ASIO by Home Affairs are outside the IGIS' jurisdiction.

The IGIS has received thousands of complaints and queries about delays in the processing of security assessments for visa applicants. The IGIS has also received a smaller number of complaints and queries concerning delays in the processing of security assessments for citizenship applications. Only a very small percentage of these have been caused by errors resulting in a delay in the completion of the security assessment.

In order to provide assurance to the public that ASIO is managing the processing of security assessments for visa and citizenship applicants with legality and propriety, we maintain ongoing contact with ASIO staff and management to monitor ASIO’s security processes and assessment practices.
In general we will not inquire into individual complaints about lack of timeliness in any case where:

  • an application for citizenship is less than 24 months old,
  • an application for a permanent visa is less than 12 months old,
  • an application for a student or research visa is less than 12 months old, or
  • an application for any other class of temporary visa is less than 3 months old.

IGIS will consider complaints about timeliness where a visa application is older than these timeframes, on a case by case basis.

Before making a complaint to IGIS, we recommend that you contact your Home Affairs case officer to check that you have provided all the information requested to complete the assessment process.

If you wish to make a complaint online, please do so via our  online complaint form.

It is important that you provide the following details:

  • name of the visa/citizenship applicant as shown on his or her passport
  • date of birth of the visa/citizenship applicant
  • country of birth of the visa/citizenship applicant
  • class of visa
  • date of visa/citizenship application (must be older than the timeframes above).

Without all of these details the IGIS will not process your complaint.

When lodging your complaint with the IGIS, provide your name, email address or contact details so we can respond to you.

On receiving your complaint, the IGIS will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in a prompt manner. IGIS will assess your complaint and may then make an administrative enquiry of ASIO about your case.
The IGIS will provide you with a response once we have completed our enquiries. Due to national security requirements we can only provide limited information concerning the progress of your visa or citizenship application.

The IGIS is not able to:

  • provide you with specific details about the security assessment process
  • change the priority given to your security assessment
  • influence the outcome of a security assessment
  • provide you with a date for completion of the security assessment.