University of Technology Sydney

78300 Introduction to Migration Law

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject is delivered online. It is the first subject in the Graduate Diploma of Migration Law and Practice (C06122) as well as a postgraduate elective. Students are introduced to the required knowledge to understand migration legislation in the context of Australia's legal system, as well as the ethical obligations applicable to a professional migration advisor. Students learn and practise the application of knowledge through the development of skills and reflection in preparation for professional practice as a migration agent. The subject aims to equip students with the skills needed to communicate with clients and key stakeholders, research relevant law, and self-regulate their professional work. Commencing with a brief history of migration law and policy, students develop an awareness of the role of migration agents in Australia.

Working with the LEGENDcom database, developed, maintained and used by the Department of Home Affairs ('the department'), students learn to apply migration law and policy to practical scenarios. Participation in drafting, interviewing, advice-writing exercises and online discussions enables students to practise, and receive feedback on, essential skills in a client-focused environment. This real-world context also allows students to develop an ethical framework for problem solving and decision making.

This subject is aligned with the Occupational Competency Standards for Migration Agents. The nine standards set out the knowledge, skills and professionalism required of an Australian migration agent. This subject meets the following three standards:

  • Standard 1 – Make preliminary contact with potential client
  • Standard 4 – Represent clients before the department and other bodies based on a detailed knowledge of relevant legislation and government policy and in accordance with legal requirements and ethical principles
  • Standard 6 – Finalise matters in accordance with legal requirements and ethical principles.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Interpret and apply migration law in professional practice
2. Undertake and synthesise research to underpin migration advice
3. Develop an ethical framework for practice in order to recognise and resolve ethical challenges
4. Apply effective oral and written communication skills to provide ethical and professional advice to clients and advocate on their behalf
5. Develop strategies to manage as self-directed, independent and reflective professionals working, at times, in a challenging environment

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Legal Knowledge
    An advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of legal knowledge including:
    * The Australian colonial and post-colonial legal system, international and comparative contexts, theoretical and technical knowledge;
    * The broader contexts within which legal issues arise and the law operates including cultural awareness, social justice and policy;
    * The principles and values of justice and ethical practices in lawyers’ roles;
    * The impact of Anglo-Australian laws on Indigenous peoples, including their historical origins in the process of colonisation and ongoing impact; and
    * Contemporary developments in law and its professional practice. (1.1)
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    An advanced and integrated capacity to value and promote honesty, integrity, cultural respect, accountability, public service and ethical standards including:
    * An understanding of approaches to ethical decision making;
    * An understanding of the rules of professional responsibility;
    * An ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical challenges in practice;
    * A developing ability to engage in the profession of law and to exercise professional judgment; and
    * An ability to reflect on and engage constructively with diversity in practice. (2.1)
  • Collaboration
    Advanced and integrated collaboration skills in working together to achieve a common goal in a group learning environment or the workplace including:
    * An ability to give and receive feedback;
    * Appropriate professional and interpersonal skills in working collaboratively; and
    * A capacity to develop strategies to successfully negotiate group challenges. (6.1)
  • Self management
    A high level of autonomy, accountability and professionalism and the ability to implement appropriate self-management and life-long learning strategies including:
    * An ability to initiate self-directed work and learning;
    * Well-developed judgment and responsibility;
    * The ability to support personal and professional development by:
      o Self-assessing skills and personal wellbeing; and
      o Making appropriate use of feedback;
    * A capacity to adapt to and embrace change. (8.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1 - Preparing for professional practice through interactive activities, a practice file and group discussion

Students are introduced to migration law and practice from the perspective of a professional preparing to enter the area of migration practice. As the introductory subject in the Graduate Diploma, students are guided through online learning with weekly interactive activities. These activities align with professional practice and include a component for preparation, followed by participation and feedback. Using targeted resources, such as the LEGENDcom database, students engage in weekly discussion groups. Students build on their preparation and self-directed learning in these discussion groups and the online discussion board. Teachers provide feedback that is relevant to professional practice through the discussion groups and with exemplars of best practice. Regular quizzes and the practice file, enhanced by contributions from professional agents, provide students with a sound introduction to the practice of a migration advisor.

Strategy 2 - Independent and self-directed learning

Independent and self-directed learning reflects the requirements of professional practice. Self-management is a core attribute for professional practice, particularly in the complex and changing area of migration law and practice.

Students’ capacity to understand the framework of migration law and manage online learning is assisted by good time management with incremental learning of content and weekly study requirements. As an introductory subject, students will learn, practise and receive feedback on professionalism, including client-centred practice. The ability to effectively engage with a client includes independent decision making, self-directed work and self-management.

Strategy 3 - Practical problem solving in an ethical context

The ability to solve problems is a core skill for a migration advisor. Essential for effective problem solving is an understanding of migration law and policy and a capacity to identify and resolve ethical challenges that may arise in the problem-solving process. Problem-solving exercises and the practice file enable students to test their learning and develop an ethical and reflective framework for decision making. This framework can be further strengthened through self, peer and teacher feedback on an ongoing basis during the teaching period.

Strategy 4 - Critical reflection and feedback

The ability to be a self-directed professional who has the capacity to critically reflect on their work is an essential attribute in migration law and practice. Receiving feedback allows students to deepen their reflective skills and to apply good time management methods to integrate feedback. Using the targeted feedback points during the session, including early feedback, enables students to monitor their development as effective professionals. Subject resources, including prescribed readings, web-based information, exercises and assessment tasks, and the conduct of the practice file provide learning opportunities for students to reflect on their understanding of the legal and ethical requirements of professional practice.

Content (topics)

  1. Overview of Australia’s Migration Law
  2. The Role of the Courts
  3. Fundamental Legal Skills
  4. Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession
  5. Oral skills workshop
  6. Practice File

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Participation (including Module quizzes)

Intent:

This assessment task requires students to self-manage their learning by participating in various formative activities designed to provide the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to practical migrated-related scenarios.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1.1, 2.1, 6.1 and 8.1

Weight: 30%
Length:

2,000 words (notional)

Criteria:
  • Evidences understanding of migration legislation, policy and ethics obligations.
  • Manages workload in timely and professional manner
  • Demonstrates collaboration skills, including effective team work to achieve a common goal in a group learning environment.
  • Demonstrates ability to initiate self-directed work
  • Evidence of self-management through timely completion of tasks

Assessment task 2: Practice File 3 (Written and Oral Component)

Intent:

This task is designed to provide students with real-world immersion as migration advisors. Through a series of steps, students practise and receive feedback on their professionalism, capacity to manage a client’s needs and interests, and ability to recognise and resolve ethical challenges.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1.1, 2.1 and 8.1

Weight: 50%
Length:

Word limit: Written component: 1000 words, Oral component: 1000 words (notional)

Criteria:

Assessment Criteria for written component

  • Applies law and policy in accordance with facts and within an ethical framework
  • Analyses, reflects and evaluate issues, client’s perspectives and ethical implications
  • Demonstrates effective oral and written communication skills to provide advice to clients and advocate on their behalf
  • Documents are drafted in plain language
  • Evidences research undertaken to underpin migration advice by citing references accurately and appropriately
  • Evidences self-management of client’s matter through timely completion of tasks

Assessment Criteria for oral component

  • Applies law and policy in accordance with facts and within an ethical framework
  • Analyses, reflects and evaluate issues, client’s perspectives and ethical implications
  • Demonstrates effective oral skills to provide advice to clients
  • Evidences research undertaken to underpin migration advice
  • Provides appropriate references to legal or policy bases for advice

Assessment task 3: Practice File 4

Intent:

This is the final task in the Practice File designed to provide students with real-world immersion as migration advisors.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1.1, 2.1 and 8.1

Weight: 20%
Length:

1000 words

Criteria:
  • Applies law and policy in accordance with facts and within an ethical framework
  • Analyses, reflects and evaluate issues, client’s perspectives and ethical implications
  • Demonstrates effective oral and written communication skills to provide advice to clients and advocate on their behalf
  • Documents are drafted in plain language
  • Evidences research undertaken to underpin migration advice by citing references accurately and appropriately
  • Evidences self-management of client’s matter through timely completion of tasks

Required texts

There are no required texts for the program because migration law changes often and text books can become out of date quickly. Instead students are provided with text and resources for each Module that can be downloaded. A Study Guide will be available for revision purposes.

Recommended texts

Please be aware that some references may become out of date quickly:

Australian Immigration Companion, 8th edition, Gerkens, M; Fernandez, R; Yau, D; Ozyurek, S; Kenny, J, 2018