One of the newest test Immigration Services in the world, the Immigration Service of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Serviço de Migração) was established in its current form in early 2003 as a Department of the Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL). In August 2008, it assumed its current name and became a separate Service in its own right within the Ministry of Defense and Security with the promulgation of the Ministry’s organic structure decree law 31/2008.
The Service has over ninety three(93) staffs, and is responsible for civilian immigration control functions at all land border crossing points, airports and ports. The Service decides visas that may be granted on arrival at a border crossing, and processes applications for further visas that may be granted to people after arrival in Timor Leste in conjunction with the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Service is also responsible for administering other functions of the Immigration and Asylum Law of 2003 (LIA), including registration of foreigners and legislated enforcement powers according to its .
On the 19th of May 2017, a new law Migration and Asylum Law 11/2017, has been promulgated by the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste but the new law is not yet implemented until further notice. Information regarding the implementation of the new law will be disseminated to the relevant entities. Diplomatic Corps will be informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through diplomatic channel