Publish Date: Aug 28, 2014
A new information-sharing agreement regarding immigration information between the United States (US) and Australia is expected to strengthen borders.
The government representatives of both countries signed an agreement on the sharing of immigration and visa information at Parliament House on August 27. The U.S.-Australia Visa and Immigration Information-Sharing Agreement was signed by Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison and U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry.
The new protocol will allow for two-way information sharing between Australia and the US, according to an August 27 Australian government press release.
The purpose of the agreement is to improve enforcement and administration of each countries respective immigration law.
"Once specific information sharing arrangements have been developed and implemented, they will better protect the safety and security of citizens of the United States and Australia and facilitate legitimate travel and business," a US Department of State August 26 press release states.
Mr Morrison said this will have a number of benefits for both countries and their citizens. The information will only be shared in line with the privacy and legislative regulations of both countries and will facilitate quicker decisions regarding immigration.
"As both countries work to protect our residents from emerging global threats, greater cooperation through the exchange of information will strengthen our ability to tackle cross-border issues," Mr Morrison said in the August 27 release.
"Increased information sharing empowers border officers through more informed decision-making, whether supporting a client's claimed identity or providing conflicting identity information."
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop also welcomed the information-sharing agreement stating that Australia is committed to strengthening its borders and utilising new technologies is one way to achieve this.
Ms Bishop said in the press release that the new partnership with the US will provide better protection for the citizens of both countries.
US immigration to Australia
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade states that the US is the country's most important economic trading partner. In 2013, Australian merchandise exports to the US equated to nearly $9.6 billion and imports were the total of an estimated $26.8 billion.
US citizens wishing to immigrate to Australia may be eligible for a skilled working visa. This visa is for people who have skills that there are a shortage of in Australia.