AAT – SMC

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

If your visa has been refused or cancelled, you may be able to appeal the decision by appealing your application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (‘AAT’) in limited circumstances.

The AAT is a merits tribunal that can review some, but not all, decisions about visas made under the Migration Act. If your case falls under the AAT jurisdiction, they will be able to review your visa refusal, re-consider the facts and circumstances surrounding your claim, and decide whether to uphold or remit the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs.

COMMON VISA REFUSAL MYTHS

Your visa will be refused again

Your visa will be refused again

This is incorrect. AAT has the power to review the facts and evidence of your case again if it falls under their jurisdiction. In fact, all the cases that we have represented have been successful.

AAT cannot review overseas applications

AAT cannot review overseas applications

 If the visa applicant is overseas, in most cases, the Australian sponsor who sponsored the applicant for the visa can make the application for review. However, if the applicant has no sponsor, you may not be eligible to apply from overseas. Reach out to check your eligibility.  

AAT Decisions are final

AAT Decisions are final

If you were unsuccessful at AAT, you could appeal to the Federal Court on a question of law or request intervention from the Minister.

OUR PROCESS

WE WILL REVIEW YOUR CASE

We will review your refusal/cancellation letter from the Department and understand why the Department has refused it. Once we evaluate your case, we will advise you about how we intend to tackle your AAT application.

WE WILL LODGE YOUR REVIEW

Once fully informed of your case, we will lodge your review application within the time limits prescribed in the refusal application.

WE WILL PREPARE YOUR SUBMISSION

Once the AAT application is lodged, we will begin working on your submission by compiling facts of your case, migration regulations policy relevant to your case, and relevant case law to support your application.

WE WILL ATTEND YOUR HEARING WITH YOU

Once the AAT advises you of a hearing date, we will prepare you for the hearing and attend the hearing with you.

AAT Outcomes

Affirm the decision

Affirm the decision

The decision by the Department of Home Affairs will remain unchanged.

Vary the decision

Vary the decision

AAT will change the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs. 

Set aside the decision

Set aside the decision

The Department will set aside the decision by the Department of Home Affairs and replace it with a new decision.

Remit the decision

Remit the decision

The Department will be sent back to the Department to make a new decision.

frequently asked questions

The AAT will either inform you of the decision at the end of the hearing or in writing later.

You are generally granted a bridging visa while waiting for your hearing. You can check your work entitlement by doing a VEVO check. Alternatively, we can review this with you. Please send us an enquiry using the enquiry box.

The Tribunal cannot waive your application, but sometimes AAT can reduce the application fee by 50% if they decide that paying the fee would cause you severe financial hardship.

Typically, you must lodge an application for review within 28 days after the visa refusal.

The AAT will refund the following:

  • The entire application fee if you were not required to pay it
  • The difference between the fee you paid and $100, if AAT grants you the reduced fee
  • The difference between the fee you paid and $100 if the review is decided in your favour.
  • There would be no refund if you paid the reduced fee of $100.

Yes. You can represent yourself at the AAT. However, we highly recommend that you obtain immediate advice from a Registered Migration Agent specialising in such Review (Appeal) cases. Simple mistakes in legal interpretation or knowledge of correct procedure and timing can result in an unsuccessful appeal and having to leave the country or appeal to the Federal Circuit court (exceedingly expensive) or risk being placed in immigration detention.

Some AAT decisions are made public in the AustLII website

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