Leaving detention

A person who is detained under the Migration Act 1958 must be kept in immigration detention until they are granted a visa, removed from Australia, deported or transferred to a regional processing country. The length of time taken to reach an outcome depends on a number of factors, including:

  • how long it takes to determine a person's identity
  • changes in the person's home country
  • outstanding court matters
  • complexity of assessing health, character or security matters in a visa application.

Detainees waiting for the outcome of an appeal, or to be removed from Australia can leave Australia voluntarily, at any time. Depending on a person's circumstances, leaving Australia voluntarily may not prevent them from accessing available appeal processes through the courts.

If a detainee chooses to return to their home country, the Department will work with that country to arrange their return.

A detainee who does not leave voluntarily may be removed from Australia.