AAT Reviews and Appeals
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AAT Reviews and Appeals

If you have recently been refused an Australian visa or had your Australian visa cancelled, and disagree with the decision, you may appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review. AIS Immigration Solutions can help you determine whether you have grounds for appeal and then help you prepare your case. For more information, get in touch with us on or book a Skype/ZOOM interview to discuss your declined or cancelled visa application.

AAT Reviews:

The AAT conduct independent merit reviews of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. The role of the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT is to review decisions made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). The AAT have the power to affirm, vary or set aside DIBP’s decision, or to return the matter to DIBP for reconsideration with specific directions. Decisions are based on the merits of each particular case.

To apply for a review of you visa application you must lodge it with the AAT within the required time frame. This timeframe will be specified in the letter that you receive from DIBP regarding the decision to refuse or cancel your visa. In most cases the relevant time frame for application is 21 days from the date of a decision to refuse a visa application, and 7 days from the date of a decision to cancel your visa. Applicants must be physically present within Australia when the application for review is made. It is important you meet these statutory timeframes, not doing so may result in the AAT declaring your application to be outside their jurisdiction.

The AAT have the power to:

  • affirm DIBP’s decision, meaning that is agrees with DIBP’s decision and it will not be changed;
  • set aside DIBP’s decision, meaning that the decision will be changed. In this situation, the AAT has the option of substituting DIBP’s decision with a new decision, or returning the matter to DIBP for reconsideration (see below).
  • remit DIBP’s decision, meaning that the matter will be returned to DIBP for reconsideration. The AAT may then give DIBP directions that it must take into account when reconsidering its decision.

You may qualify for a bridging visa upon lodgement of your review application. The type of bridging visa that you qualify for (if any), along with the conditions of that visa, will depend upon your circumstances at the time that you lodged the visa application that is under review (if the review relates to a refusal decision).

It may take the AAT some time to complete its assessment and come to a decision regarding your application.

Reviewable AAT Decisions:

The following decisions are reviewable by the AAT:

  • Decisions refusing a substantive visa to a person who is subject to restrictions under section 48 because of an earlier visa refusal or cancellation
  • Decisions refusing applications for December 1989 entry permits
  • Decisions refusing a substantive visa where the applicant is in immigration detention when the decision is notified to him or her, and decisions refusing a visa made by the Secretary or by an officer holding or acting in a Senior Executive Service position
  • Decisions refusing protection visas to some applicants, including unauthorised maritime arrivals who entered Australia on or after 13 August 2012 as fast track reviewable decisions by the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) within the AAT.
  • Decisions in relation to refugee status made before 1 September 1994, and decisions refusing or cancelling protection visas made after 1 September 1994
  • Decisions to deport a person, decisions refusing or cancelling visas on character grounds under s 501, and decisions cancelling business visas under s 135 are reviewable by the AAT

Non-reviewable decisions include:

  • Offshore decisions refusing to grant visas where there is no criterion requiring nomination or sponsorship in that subclass
  • A decision that an application is not valid
  • Decisions rejecting nominations or sponsorships
  • When the Minister has issued a conclusive certificate preventing review of a decision.


To have migration decisions reviewed you must pay an application fee of AUD$1,846, except when applying for review of a bridging visa decision (including any related decision to require a security bond) that resulted in a person being placed in immigration detention.

You may be eligible for a fee reduction of 50% if payment of the fee is likely to cause severe financial hardship.

How can AIS Immigration Solutions Help?

AIS Immigration Solutions can help you win your case. Our range of services include phone and Skype interviews where we discuss your declined or cancelled visa application and go over your case and the potential avenues available to you, as well as consultation services were we look over your grounds for appeal and determine whether you have a strong chance at success – essentially, we will tell you whether your best option is to proceed with the appeal. If you decide to proceed with the appeal, we can also prepare your case for you, giving you the best chance for success. We will guide you through the process from start to finish.

We only take on Migration Review Tribunal cases if we believe that you have a strong chance of winning. We genuinely want the best for you and will always be upfront and honest if we don’t think you should proceed with your appeal. We are here to advise you in your best interests.

Our team are ready to answer questions you may have about the AAT reviews and appeals process. Call +61 7 3216 0052 or send us an enquiry.