Migrant smuggling by air, which often involves the use of forged or false documents, is a phenomenon not well researched and understood in Australia.  It is typically overshadowed by concerns surrounding maritime migrant smuggling.  Recent reports and law enforcement investigations, however, have revealed a significant number of schemes set up to facilitate and conceal the illegal arrival of smuggled migrants by air.  Concerns about migrant smuggling by air and document fraud in Australia are further fuelled by popular television programs which (unjustifiably) insinuate that a large proportion of foreigners inspected by immigration control officers at Australia’s airports have arrived with false documents and/or misrepresent the purpose of their visit to Australia.

The following sections summarise research conducted in 2012 on the available information relating to migrant smuggling by air, document fraud, and the Australian case law. For the full report click here [pdf].