Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
The basic tools of trade for people wanting to understand migration law are the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), the Migration Regulations 1994 and the Minister for Immigration's policy guidelines (Procedures Advice Manual [PAM3]). The last is a crucial component for guidance in providing the evidence needed to satisfy each criterion for a particular visa and in applying or assessing the law. Equally crucial is the necessity to have up-to-date statutory and policy materials, as the Migration Regulations are the subject of constant amendment.
The legislative framework and relationship between the Act and the Regulations
The impetus for legislating about migration derives from the policy of the government of the day. Notwithstanding some disagreement between the two major political parties, there is a largely bipartisan policy, based on a view that there should be a formal immigration policy that is beneficial to Australia. To that end, the policy seeks to address long- and short-term economic needs and interests; the needs of individuals and families who have previously migrated; and an international commitment to humanitarian settlement. It implements its policy by controlling who can enter and remain within Australia's borders.