In carrying out its functions, the Tribunal must pursue the objective of providing a mechanism of review that: (a) is accessible; and (b) is fair, just, economical, informal and quick; and (c) is proportionate to the importance and complexity of the matter; and (d) promotes public trust and confidence in the decision‑making of the Tribunal.What visa options are available if you come by boat? Boat arrivals are in a number of different categories according to when they arrived. If someone arrives by boat without a visa, he or she is defined as an "unauthorised maritime arrival" (UMA). People in this group who arrive after July 19, 2013, are liable to be sent to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, or Nauru for assessment under local law in those countries. Although Australia pays for the whole assessment process and detention centres, only local laws apply, and currently both Nauru and PNG are only offering temporary visas to live in those countries. There is no permanent visa option. Those who arrived by boat between August 13, 2012, and January 1, 2014, and have not been sent to Nauru or Manus Island are assessed under the new fast-track process. This process does not grant automatic rights to merits review, as some people will be excluded from the reduced merits review process of the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA). Those whose cases are sent to the IAA will not be entitled to a hearing, and if they provide new information, that information can be excluded from consideration. The idea is a fast-track review process with even further reduced procedural fairness to those in the refugee division of the AAT. The IAA review is described in the Migration Act thus: “The Immigration Assessment Authority is required to pursue the objective of providing a mechanism of limited review that is efficient, quick, free of bias.” There is no mention of "fair or just", as appears in the AAT Act for the non-UMA cases. The third group are those who arrived by boat before August 12, 2012. They can lodge a protection visa if the immigration minister agrees because UMA cases are prevented from applying for any visa unless the minister permits it. If unsuccessful, they are able to lodge a review in the AAT like the plane arrivals. All the successful refugees can get if they arrive by boat is a three-year temporary protection visa (TPV), which has a ban on any other visa applications apart from other temporary protection visas. No permanent visa is possible, and no family reunion is possible. A new temporary protection visa, called the five-year Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV), is available for those who express an intention to work or study in designated regional areas for up to 42 months. So far, only New South Wales has signed up, but it does not include the area from Culburra south of Kiama to Nelson Bay, and west to Katoomba. Once the refugee meets the 42-months requirement, they can apply for a number of other temporary or permanent visas, but not a permanent protection visa. It means a refugee's case must be converted into a migration case -- not easy to do. Why are people who arrive by boat treated so harshly? Non-indigenous people have been arriving by boat to settle in Australia since January 26, 1788. The recent obsession against "boat people" can be traced to the arrival of around 350 Cambodians by boat from 1989 to 1991. In May 1992, the Keating government introduced mandatory immigration detention for people arriving by boat, in order to defeat a court challenge listed for hearing the day after the legislation was introduced. The term "illegal" has not been used in the Migration Act since August 31, 1994. Non-citizens in Australia are either lawful non-citizens (i.e they have a visa) or unlawful non-citizens (no visa). There is no criminal offence for the unlawful non-citizens, but the potential consequence of administrative (as distinct from custodial) detention until you are granted a visa or removed. However, the current government insists on calling asylum seekers who arrive by boat "illegals" or "illegal maritime arrivals", rather than using the term "unlawful maritime arrival". This can only be for vilification purposes because of the negative connotations behind the term "illegals", because otherwise why does the government insist on using the term? By vilifying a group, the unacceptable "other", we can then justify treating them more harshly, and this seems to be a political explanation as to why we treat asylum seekers who come by boat more harshly than other asylum seekers.
Are people who arrive by boat really queue jumpers?
If you are not supposed to come to Australia to seek asylum by boat, how are you meant to do it? Immigration solicitor Kerry Murphy explains.