Freedom of Information Requests

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 you have a right to access information that the Australian government holds. In migration applications, it can often be important to know what information the Department of Immigration and Border Protection holds about you.

The Department will have:

  • 14 days to acknowledge receipt of your FOI request
  • 30 days to notify you of a decision on your FOI request.

Extensions are possible. The Department will contact you if they require an extension on the 30 days.

There is no fee imposed when a Freedom of Information (FOI) requests relates to the personal information of the person who applied for the FOI.

There are certain documents that the Department may be exempt from releasing. This may include documents:

  • affecting national security, defence or international relations
  • cabinet documents
  • affecting the enforcement of law and protection of public safety
  • to which secrecy provisions or enactments apply
  • that are legally privileged
  • containing material obtained in confidence
  • disclosure of which would be contempt of Court.

If you are refused access to documents, you may apply for a review of the decision. You can also make complaints to the Australian Information Commissioner.