Nixon Review – Rapid Review into Australia’s Immigration System

The Nixon Review was established to supplement the ongoing efforts of the Department of Home Affairs, which is focused on combatting the exploitation of migrant workers and enhancing the prevention, deterrence, and punishment of abuses within Australia’s visa system.

During the review process, Ms. Nixon AO, APM collaborated with various Commonwealth, state, and territorial agencies, as well as relevant organizations. To formulate recommendations or insights applicable to Australia, she also took into account:

  1. Findings from previous and ongoing reviews and inquiries, including those conducted by parliamentary committees.
  2. Regulatory approaches employed in comparable foreign jurisdictions.

The review’s scope encompassed the following areas:

Particular instances highlighted in media reports.

  1. The handling, storage, treatment, and sharing of information within the Department of Home Affairs, specifically related to efforts in investigating, regulating, and enforcing actions against individuals or groups exploiting vulnerabilities in the visa system.
  2. The authority, resources, and punitive measures available to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) for investigating and taking action against third parties, including registered and unregistered migration agents, attempting to misuse the visa system.
  3. The legal provisions for assessing the character of individuals throughout the visa application process, identifying gaps and areas of vulnerability that have allowed threat actors to exploit the system.
  4. How visa policies and settings could be optimized to minimize the vulnerability of visa holders, maintain the integrity of visa programs, and discourage unethical practices.
  5. The processes for prioritizing, referring, and making decisions in cases of concern, particularly those involving indicators of migrant exploitation in Australia.

There are 34 recommendations made in the report with the government accepting 28 of these.

Full report can be found here: Rapid Review into the Exploitation of Australia’s Visa System Report (

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

6 Oct, 2023

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