Australian migration law is amongst the most complex of all Australian law. There are literally hundreds of types of visas available to people who want to visit, work, study or live in Australia. The details of the criteria for these visas are to be found in the hundreds pages of regulations and other official documents. Australian migration law provides for the different subclasses of visas and the criteria applicable to each visa. It also provides for payment of visa applications, appeals from refusals, cancellations of visas, Ministerial intervention, obligations, evidencing, and much, much more.
When you are thinking about applying for a visa you need to look at a number of different areas within the migration law. You will need to determine whether there is a visa available to suit your situation, whether you meet the applicable criteria and how you have to go about applying for the visa. You may want to look at whether there is a right of appeal should your visa application be refused. Some visa applications are relatively expensive and time consuming processes to undertake so you should be fully aware of what you getting into.
Australian migration law is a type of Commonwealth law, as opposed to a State or local law. This means that it applies throughout the whole country and not merely to some parts of it.
The law changes constantly and is not rigid. Prices for visas go up usually about 2 times each year and the criteria for each visa can change. Even the forms change.
There is also a considerable body of material that is used internally by the staff at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) which relates to the procedure and processing of visas and this provides guidelines to be used when determining whether or not to grant a visa.
Because of the complexity of Australian migration law a special group of legal professionals have emerged to deal specifically with this area. Migration agents are supposed to be trained in Australian migration law and practice. Some migration agents are highly trained professionals who have all been Solicitors and/or Barristers previously and who know the law and how to work within it and around it. There are others who have done a course in Australian migration law which can qualify them to be a migration gent. Unfortunately, there are other people who have no training in Australian migration law who call themselves migration agents. These people are often not Australian or have never even been to Australia but charge money to give advice on Australian visas. It is these people that you should definitely try to avoid.