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Why Do We Have Immigration Laws?

All countries have immigration laws in place and effect at all times. Australia is no exception, and the federal government has put policies and measures to guide potential migrants effectively before entering or leaving the country. 

Immigration policy is a way to control the influx of people who may want to establish residence within a state’s borders. Some different policies and permits allow entry depending on the nature or purpose. These purposes may vary, and the state can determine or implement changes depending on its economic, demographic or security needs. Below are the categories of these purposes:

  • Access to territory 
  • Participation in the labour market 
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • Family reunification
  • Acquisition of citizenship by immigrants (naturalisation)

At Madison Marcus, we want to discuss the critical points of Australian immigration law, such as its purposes, importance, benefits and history. This is to provide you with the best Australian immigration law services we can offer. 

Let the following information guide you through the specifics of Australian Immigration Law. 

What Is the Purpose of Immigration Laws?

There are different purposes for immigration laws depending on the interests of a country. These can be simplified according to two concepts:

  • Humanitarian rights of the individuals—asylum and family reunification laws
  • Response to select state objectives—demographic and labour market needs. 

Many factors have shaped Australia’s national identity and history, and central to this is immigration. Over the years, the country has seen an increase in population growth. In 2022, the nation grew to about 25.7 million people.

The Department of Home Affairs oversees Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Programs.  Since the 1970s, these programs have worked on the premise of providing a visa system that is universal and non-discriminatory. In other words, the focus is on a migrant’s contribution to the country rather than gender, race or religious beliefs. The general public broadly supports Australia’s immigration laws and programs due to its strong social cohesion.

In line with all of this, the programs have a dual complementary purpose as mandated by the Department of Home Affairs (2022), which is to:

  • Facilitate the entry and stay of those who legitimately seek to visit, study, work or be reunited with family or obtain protection;
  • Uphold the interest of Australian national security and community safety by preventing entry of non-citizens and those with faux identities that pose threats in any form. 

What Are the Benefits of Immigration?

There are multiple benefits to immigration, and as mentioned above, the influx of immigrants is directly proportional to population growth. Demographics, however, is not the only growth engine that migration programs target.

Included in the design are economic and labour market needs. 

Accordingly, three key streams comprise Australia’s Permanent Migration Program: skill, family and special eligibility programs.

Skilled Migration Program

This program introduces skilled workers with high productivity and specialist skill sets into the labour market. This key stream provides economic benefits to Australia by bringing in new knowledge and skills, new technologies and global connections.

The 2021 data from the Treasury show that migrants under this program were in an age bracket that allows them to have children, providing a demographic solution to the ageing population.

On an important note, immigration laws and policies are in place to ensure that the skilled migrant does not replace but instead complements the domestic workforce of Australia. 

Family Migration Program

This program is responsible for social cohesion in the country and aims to reunify family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Eligible for entry in this program are spouses, de facto partners or prospective partners under the ‘Partner Category’. Non-contributory and contributory parents of Australian sponsored children fall under the ‘Parent Category’. Other family members, such as remaining relatives, orphan relatives and aged-dependent relatives fall under the ‘Other Family Category’.

Lastly, parents can sponsor their dependent or adopted children to live in Australia, which puts them in the ‘Child Category’.

A way to limit the influx of migrants under this category is the ‘cap-and queue’ power, which sets a fixed number of applicants allowed annually and queues additional applications for the following year. 

Special Eligibility Program

This program provides entry for migrants in special circumstances and includes permanent residents who have been overseas for an extended period. 


As a supplement, Australian immigration laws also cover exceptional humanitarian cases, such as those displaced by war, famine and other circumstances.

Humanitarian Program

Australia features one of the most successful and generous refugee resettlement plans, allocating 13,750 places for displaced people in need of humanitarian help for 2022. The program comes with access to essential services and the opportunity to integrate into Australian life as a permanent resident. 

In summary, adding migrants from all walks of life provides economic opportunities, contributing to economic prosperity, social cohesion, community safety and national security. It shapes the international reputation of Australian immigration laws and policies as non-discriminatory and well-managed.

Why Was the Migration Act of 1958 Created?

The Migration Act of 1958 answers why immigration is important for Australia, as it filled the needs of the post-war government to implement economic development policies. This Act was also a way to bolster the country’s defences in case another war happened. 

The determinant of migration policies at the time the government created the Act was to bolster the population in the aftermath of the war. Over the years, the focus has shifted from keeping up with the labour market to keeping up with emerging economic paradigms and delivering humanitarian aid to displaced people. 

There have been numerous amendments to the Migration Act but without sacrificing the constant necessity for migration intake. There have been fluctuations in the number of places the Migration Program has allocated for potential migrants over the years. These changes depend on the current political climate and the global state. 

Still, data have shown that immigration plays a positive influence on the upward growth of the economy. As long as Australian immigration laws and policies operate with border and enforcement measures, the upward growth will continue to increase whilst minimising threats and risks such as illegal immigrants and fraudulent identities. 

How Madison Marcus Can Help You

These are just snippets of an overarching and complex topic involving Australian Immigration laws and policies. For more clarifications and a detailed account of the Australian immigration law services, you need a reputable firm to help you.

At Madison Marcus, we can assist you in various areas of global mobility and migration, including:

  • Student visas
  • Family migration
  • Working holiday visas
  • Short-stay specialist visas
  • Corporate and skilled migration
  • Temporary skilled shortage visas
  • Refugee and social justice issues
  • Business innovation and investment visas
  • Administrative appeals and Federal Circuit Court
  • Employer nominated and regional sponsored migration
  • Distinguished talent and temporary activities (sport and entertainment) visas

For all enquiries or a free 15-minute consultation, contact us here.

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