This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

References for migration issues for prisoners

References for migration issues for prisoners.

VLA Professional support

Civil justice resources

The Professional support team have resources to support staff with civil justice law practice. The content includes 'Latest updates', 'Civil law reform' and 'Law and practice' which links to topics of information in civil law areas.

For information about migration law see:

Criminal law resources

Professional support has a factsheet for criminal lawyers to use if their client has been charged with a offence that may trigger the visa cancellation provisions under the Migration Act 1958. This is available to lawyers outside VLA.

Professional support has a factsheet for criminal lawyers to use if their client has been charged with a offence that may trigger the visa cancellation provisions under the Migration Act 1958.

See alsoo the information on Mandatory visa cancellations further down this page.

The team also has information designed to assist criminal lawyers with mandatory visa cancellation.

See Practice Resources—Civil justice resources—Criminal offending and visa cancellation.

VLA website — Information for lawyers

Information provided by our professional support lawyers to assist lawyers when they are giving advice to people who are alleged to have a debt to Centrelink under the Status Resolution and Support Services program. Scroll down under the 'Migration law' heading to the information for lawyers who are advising a client under the Status Resolution and Support Services program:

  • 'Advising on debts owed under the Status Resolution and Support Services program'

See Information for lawyers—Practice Resources—Civil law resources(opens in a new window).

Department of Home Affairs

This is the Minister's direction about the decision-making process relating to cancellation of visas on character grounds. The Annexe C this direction sets out the directions for mandatory visa cancellations.


Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The AAT website has more detailed information for non-citizens (and their legal representatives) who are seeking a review of a visa cancellation based on character grounds.



Visit the AAT website for recent decisions on visa refusal and cancellation.

See Administrative Appeals Tribunal(opens in a new window).

For most recent cases see AAT—Decisions(opens in a new window).

Immigration Assessment Authority

The immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) conducts reviews of 'fast track' reviewable decisions. Fast track decisions are those made by the minister or a delegate, which refuse to grant a protection visa. The site has information about the review process and links to forms, IAA decisions and Practice Directions.

See Immigration Assessment Authority(opens in a new window)

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

This is an intergovernmental organisation offering migration management assistance to governments and migrants worldwide. The Australian IOM site has information about:

  • voluntary return schemes
  • interest free loans and
  • concession airfares for migrants to Australia.

See International Organization for Migration—Immigration information and counselling service (IIC)(opens in a new window).

Refugee Council of Australia

This site has information on refugees, asylum seekers and settlement issues. It is the national umbrella body for refugees and their supporters.

See Refugee Council of Australia(opens in a new window).

A free kit to help new arrivals

What's the law? Australian law for new arrivals

VLA has produced a free education kit to assist community workers and teachers who work with recently arrived migrants and refugees.

See What's the law? Australian law for new arrivals(opens in a new window).

VLA resource

Mandatory visa cancellations: Information for lawyers

Mandatory visa cancellations: Information for lawyers (docx, 153 KB)(opens in a new window) - Information designed to help criminal lawyers if criminal proceedings may trigger the mandatory visa cancellation provisions under the Migration Act 1958.

Note: This resource was last updated in January 2018 and does not include information about the Ministerial Direction No. 90, which commenced on 15 April 2021.

See Mandatory visa cancellations: Information for lawyers (docx, 153 KB)(opens in a new window).

Corrections Victoria

This business unit of Department of Justice is responsible for setting the direction, management and operation of Victoria's corrections system. Corrections Victoria's website, Corrections, prisons and parole has information about the governance of prisons in Victoria.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole(opens in a new window).

Standards for prisoners and offenders

These national guidelines set out the broad principles, outcomes and goals to be achieved by correctional services in Australia. Each state and territory must look to these when developing their individual legislation, standards and policies.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Standards for Prisons and Offenders(opens in a new window).

Correctional management standards for prisons

There standards, developed by the Department of Justice, set different standards for men and women's prisons. These documents set out the minimum requirements for correctional services in all Victorian prisons.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Standard Guidelines for prison facilities in Australia and New Zealand(opens in a new window).

Sentence Management Manual

This 4 part manual has been developed by Corrections Victoria to direct prison staff who are involved in the sentence management of prisoners to ensure that they perform their duties consistently and in line with legal and Corrections Victoria requirements.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual(opens in a new window).

Commissioner's requirements

These documents set out the high level requirements for prison operational matters. They are used to ensure consistency or continuity of correctional practice across the whole prison system, both in public and private prisons.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Commissioner's Requirements(opens in a new window).

The Law Handbook

Fitzroy Legal Service's handbook has a chapter to explain the laws that apply to prisoners in Victoria.

See Imprisonment, supervision and prisoner rights(opens in a new window).

Supporting justice

This site is designed for lawyers, judicial officers and court professionals. It aims to help them learn how to recognise the signs of disability, gain an understanding of the criminal justice system experience of people with a disability, and have evidence-based knowledge and capability-building training to draw upon. For example, there is information about:

  • communicating effectively with people with disability
  • preparing a plea for a client with a disability
  • accessing specialist courts
  • accessing support services and NDIS.

See Supporting justice(opens in a new window).

This handbook deals with the law for prisoners in Western Australia, however it may be useful for prisoners who want to be transfer interstate.

See WA Legal Aid—Prisoners, parole and prison offences(opens in a new window).