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 Federal offenders

Federal offenders are persons who are convicted of a Commonwealth offence. Examples of Commonwealth offences include importation of drugs, terrorism, child sex offences committed using a carriage service, and social security fraud.

This page provides information for federal offenders who are currently in prison or on parole. It includes information about release, parole conditions, interstate transfer, interstate or overseas travel while on parole and pardons. For information for state and territory offenders, visit the state and territory corrective services websites page.

All information held by the Commonwealth Parole Office is treated in accordance with our privacy policy.

Parole orders

A parole order is the authority for prisoners to be released from prison and sets out conditions that they must obey while they are in the community on parole. Parole orders consist of general and specific conditions.

For more information on Commonwealth parole orders and breaches of parole, visit the Parole page.

Early release

There are two ways a federal prisoner may be released prior to their non-parole period:

  • early release on licence, or
  • thirty days early release.

For more information, visit the Early release page.

Interstate transfers

Federal prisoners can apply to transfer interstate on welfare grounds to serve the rest of their sentence in another state or territory.

For more information, visit the Interstate transfers page.


A federal offender can appeal against their conviction and sentence in a higher court in the relevant state or territory jurisdiction in which they were convicted. Offenders should talk to their solicitors or legal aid about their appeal options as in most jurisdictions there are time limits on lodging appeals.

If all appeal avenues have been exhausted and there are extenuating circumstances a federal offender may apply to the Australian Government for a pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy or for the case to be referred to the relevant state or territory appeal court for a review of the conviction or sentence.

More information on these processes is available on the Royal prerogative of mercy and statutory referral to state and territory courts page.

Interstate and overseas travel

Travelling interstate on parole is a matter for the relevant state or territory agency. Speak to your parole officer should you wish to travel interstate.

Federal offenders on parole who wish to travel overseas must make an application through their parole officer, to this department.

For more information including how to apply, visit the Overseas travel page.

Removal from Australia after release from prison

If the prisoner is to be removed, the Department of Home Affairs arranges for departure as soon as possible after the expiration of the non-parole period. If a decision on a prisoner's removal has not been made at the time of release on parole, they may be held in detention, or may be required to report to the parole service and remain under supervision, until the case has been determined.

Re-entering Australia during the period of a parole order is a matter for the Department of Home Affairs to decide.

For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.