Visiting an immigration detention facility

​​A person may be permitted to visit an immigration detention facility if they are:

  • an official visitor
  • the legal representative of a detainee in detention
  • migration agent of a detainee in detention
  • a health professional
  • a consular official​
  • a family member or friend of a detainee in detention
  • a religious representative
  • a volunteer or a community group.

Under the Migration and Citizenship Acts, the Department is authorised to collect, use and/or disclose the personal information supplied to it in order to carry out its functions. The Privacy Notice informs you of the conditions under which this information is collected and the Department’s privacy policy.

Official visitor

Official visitors include:

  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • Australian Red Cross
  • Minister's Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention
  • International agencies and delegations
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Australian members of parliament or government officials
  • Foreign members of parliament or government officials and official delegations.

To visit an immigration facility in an official capacity, you must email detention.visits@border.gov.au at least seven (7) days before the intended visit with the following information:

  • date and time of the proposed visit
  • name of the facility
  • names of official visitors and roles
  • purpose of the visit.

Legal representative

A legal representative seeking to visit an immigration detention facility must provide a written request to visit a detainee and complete the Visitor Application form (30KB PDF) and the Visitor Conditions of Entry form (34KB PDF), at least one business day before the proposed visit. The request must include the names of the lawyers, paralegals, interpreters and any other person requiring access. Forms must be completed by each person visiting.

Legal representatives must provide:

  • evidence of employment with a registered legal firm and proof of engagement as the legal representative for the detainee
  • a written statement that lawyers seeking entry to a facility are partners of the firm, employees of the firm, or a barrister engaged by the firm to present a person or people in detention
  • a written statement that any paralegals are employed or engaged by the firm as paralegals
  • the name of the detainee/s who requested legal consultation from the firm, with a signed authority to act from each of the listed people.

You must seek prior approval to bring in any controlled items. For further advice see items not permitted in immigration detention facilities.

For all visits, legal representatives must email detention.visits@border.gov.au.

Migration agent

Migration agents seeking to visit an immigration detention facility must provide a written request to visit a detainee and complete the Visitor Application form (30KB PDF) and the Visitor Conditions of Entry form (34KB PDF), at least one business day before the proposed visit. The request must include the names of the migration agent/s, interpreters and any other person requiring access. Forms must be completed for each visitor.

Migration agents must provide:

  • evidence of employment with a registered migration agency and proof of engagement as the migration agent for each detainee—Form 956 (251KB PDF)

You must seek prior approval to bring in any controlled items. For further advice see items not permitted in immigration detention facilities.

For all visits, migration agents must email detention.visits@border.gov.au.

Health professional

A health professional proposing to visit an immigration detention facility must seek approval from the Department at least seven (7) days prior to the visit, and provide the following information:

If you are seeking to visit at the request of a legal representative or migration agent, please include evidence of the services being requested, including the legal representative’s or migration agent’s authority to act on behalf of the detainee.

For all visits, health professionals must email detention.visits@border.gov.au.

Embassy or consular official

An embassy or consular official wishing to visit an immigration detention facility must email detention.visits@border.gov.au.

Media representative

For information about media access to immigration detention facilities, see media access to detention facilities.

Family member or friend

A family member or friend seeking to visit a person in an immigration detention facility must complete the Visitor Application form (30KB PDF) and the Visitor Conditions of Entry form (34KB PDF), and return to the relevant immigration detention facility.

For further contact details and visiting times, refer to Immigration detention facilities.

Religious representative

Provision of religious and spiritual support and pastoral care is an important service provided to detainees in immigration detention.

Approved religious visitors must contact the detention services provider Religious Liaison Officer at the specific facility. Contact details can be found at immigration detention facilities.

Volunteer and community group representative

Volunteers and community group representatives wishing to conduct activities for detainees in immigration must provide details about the activities to the Facilities and Detainee Services Provider manager of the relevant facility. Contact details can be found at relevant detention facility.

Giving gifts to detainees

Certain gifts are not acceptable in an immigration detention facility. See items not permitted in an immigration detention facility.

If posting a gift, include the person’s name and the sender’s name and address. No food is permitted by mail or courier.