What is Operation Sovereign Borders?
Operation Sovereign Borders is the Australian Government’s military-led border security initiative to stop the boats, prevent people from risking their lives at sea, and preserve the integrity of Australia’s migration program.
What does this mean for those who travel to Australia by boat without a visa?
There is no way anyone who travels illegally by boat will ever make Australia home.
There are two outcomes for people who travel illegally by boat to Australia – they will be intercepted and safely removed from Australian waters or sent to another country for offshore processing. Processing and resettlement in Australia will never be an option.
This is the Australian Government’s policy and it will not change.
What about the recent announcement? Can people now get a temporary visa?
No. The recent announcement made by the Australian Government only applies to those who arrived on or before 31 December 2013.
Any person who joins a people smuggling venture now and attempts to arrive illegally in Australia will either be returned or sent to another country for processing.
Does it make a difference if a person has family or friends in Australia?
No. If a person gets a boat without a visa, they will not end up in Australia. It does not make a difference if they have family in Australia.
The rules apply to everyone: families, children, unaccompanied children, educated and skilled. There are no exceptions.
Have any Sri Lankan boats that have attempted to go to Australia illegally made it?
Since Operation Sovereign Borders began in 2013, every Sri Lankan boat that has attempted to come to Australia illegally has failed.
On 26 November 2014, Sri Lanka and Australia worked together to successfully disrupt a people smuggling venture carrying 38 Sri Lankan nationals attempting to travel illegally by boat to Australia.
In July 2014, 41 Sri Lankan nationals were returned to Sri Lanka when their boat was intercepted by Australian authorities.
People smugglers say the Australian Government’s policy has changed – is this true?
No. People smugglers are lying. The Australian Government’s policy against maritime people smuggling is clear and unchanged – the way to Australia is closed.