In 1983 a group of community workers and lawyers came together to develop an informed perspective on immigration matters. Three years later, in 1986, this group decided on the name, the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre and IARC was formed. From its inception, IARC has specialized in providing advice and information on immigration matters to Australian citizens, to migrants and to those seeking refuge in Australia. While the number and make up of IARC’s Staff and Management Committees have varied over the years, its focus on, and expertise in, providing independent, expert and accessible advice to vulnerable migrants has never wavered.
IARC has contributed to the policy debates around immigration law reform and over the years has developed and conducted training and information sessions to the legal profession and other service providers on changes to Australia’s immigration laws and any subsequent effects or consequences these changes might have on vulnerable people seeking to migrate to Australia. From the first edition produced in 1986 until 2009, IARC has also published numerous editions of the Immigration Kit, a widely referenced source of information on the frequently evolving and highly complex area of immigration law. Now much of this information is provided free from the IARC website in the form of information sheets and brochures.
Now in its 32nd year, IARC in 2017-18 helped 794 individuals to navigate Australia’s immigration laws involving 1726 legal advices and also provided over 1200 referrals. Over 400 people (mainly women) involved with family violence were assisted with immigration advice and other support.