What is the change? The Australian Government has established a new agency, the Department of Home Affairs, which will oversee a number of functions including immigration, borders, security, criminal justice, emergency management and cultural affairs.

What does the change mean? The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be among the agencies incorporated under the Department of Home Affairs. References to previous functions will be updated in the first half of 2018.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate. The Department of Home Affairs was officially established Dec. 20.
  • Visas/permits affected: All immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Companies and individuals applying for immigration services with Australian authorities.
  • Business impact: The change to the agency is primarily structural and is not expected to impact immigration procedures.

Background: The establishment of the Department of Home Affairs is part of reforms to the country’s national security and intelligence that were announced on July 18.

BAL Analysis: The new central agency will allow various departments to better integrate with each other, share information and provide coordinated strategy and policies.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 0101248

Copyright © 2017 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact