18 June 2008
Overstayers detained in Western Australia by immigration authorities
Three illegal overstayers from the People’s Republic of China were detained last week in Willeton, Western Australia.
Each of the men held an expired visa for Australia. Government authorities detained them after "an incident at a house in the southern suburb of Willeton", according to a media release from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Western Australian police had to be called to an overstayer’s house on Thursday June 12 when he refused to speak with immigration officials. He was also armed with a knife.
"The rapid response of the WA Police to the incident in Willeton is a great example of government agencies working together to maintain the integrity of Australia’s borders," said a spokesman for DIAC.
The men are remaining in detention until immigration authorities decide if they are legally allowed to stay in Australia. If authorities do not decide to extend their Australian visa, they will be deported.
"The department works closely with WA Police, as well as other agencies, to find people who are working illegally in Australia or have overstayed their visas," he added. The DIAC have warned foreign nationals on an Australia visa that officials will be actively approaching workplaces and properties around Australia to track down overstayers and illegal workers.
In a press release recently, the DIAC explicitly warned seasonal workers on vineyards to have valid Australian working holiday visas, or they would be deported by officials. "We are aware that significant numbers of visa holders have moved into the vine-growing areas of the state and we are urging their employers to ensure these people are all entitled to work in Australia," said Greg Kelly, State Director of DIAC.
The DIAC have a free online service for checking the work rights of an employee currently on an Australia working holiday visa.