Visa Cancellations & Refusals

Visa Cancellations & Refusals

Should you have had your visa application refused or had your visa cancelled, you may be able to seek review of that decision to the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal).

We provide you below some information on the review process.

What is the AAT?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is the merits review body for most administrative decisions by the Federal Government. The operations of the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) were also amalgamated into the AAT under its Migration Division.

The Migration Division reviews the negative decision by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on merits of your case.

Limited Timeframe for Appeal to the AAT

Generally, you have certain number of days to lodge your application to the AAT. If you miss that time-limit, you then generally lose your chance to review.

Merits Review of a Decision by the AAT

The AAT may reach a different conclusion and make a new decision based on the facts of your case. This means that the AAT look at your case afresh and can do three things. It may change in your favour the decision made by the Department of Immigration, it may affirm the decision made by the DIBP or may return the decision to the DIBP with a direction for reconsideration.

A decision of the AAT is only appealable to the Federal Court of Australia; IF there be a legal error made by the member of the AAT.

The Federal Court cannot revisit the merits of your case – it is, therefore, generally a quite difficult legal work where you need a lawyer.

You may also approach the Minister for the immigration to intervene in your case after an unsuccessful merits review if you think that there are compelling reasons for your visa to be granted.

AAT Hearings

At the AAT, you have the right to be heard. In general, hearings are conducted face-to-face. You will have the opportunity to give evidence verbally in support of your case as well as calling witnesses to give evidence.

You need to be prepared and it makes a lot of difference if you have a lawyer with you.