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29-10-2013 -

The former Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2012-13 annual report was tabled today, detailing a busy year of activity, Department of Immigration and Border Protection secretary Martin Bowles said.

Mr Bowles said the department’s work in 2012-13 included granting almost 4.7 million permanent and temporary visas; managing more than 33 million border movements and answering more than 2.5 million calls at its call centres.

“This has been a year of unprecedented change for the department and its staff have been operating in a challenging and unpredictable operational environment,” Mr Bowles said.

Among the achievements highlighted in the annual report was a second successive year of growth in citizenship applications, with more 120 000 people becoming Australian citizens at ceremonies, including a record 17 059 on Australia Day alone.

Mr Bowles said compliance with Australia's migration system also remained high, with more than 99 per cent of the more than 5.1 million temporary entrants during the year complying with their visa conditions.

“While the department promotes voluntary compliance with visa conditions, it is important to note the work of our compliance officers who conducted more than 
15 000 locations of unlawful non-citizens,” Mr Bowles said.

The migration programme grew by 5000 places to a total of 190 000 places in 2012-13, attributed largely to the implementation of the department’s innovative skilled migration selection system, SkillSelect, which was introduced in July 2012.

A number of initiatives were also launched in the temporary residence programme, including the introduction of the significant investor visa to attract foreign investment of at least $5 million.

“The department has been instrumental in shaping the future of a prosperous, inclusive Australia,” Mr Bowles said.  “I commend the continued efforts of the staff who work tirelessly in our offices around the world.”

Media Enquiries: National Communications 02 6264 2244

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