AAT Appeals [Refusals]

AAT Appeals [Refusals]

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is a body which reviews government decisions – specifically, if a decision has gone against you there are circumstances under which the decision can be reviewed by the AAT and, if the AAT feels that different decision can be made, the decision can be ‘overturned’.

The AAT is the next step if you have had an immigration refusal or cancellation such as a partner visa refusal or you have failed a health waiver.

Broadly, there are three areas that the AAT reviews under The Migration Act 1958:

  1. Migration Decisions
    Eg. to refuse or cancel a visa or matters such employer nomination refusals.
  2. Refugee/Humanitarian Decisions
    Eg. to refuse or cancel a protection visa.
  3. Character Matters
    Eg. If a decision is made against you on the basis of character concerns.
  4. Citizenship Refusals

Not all matters can be brough to the attention of the AAT, but many can. The AAT describes its role as:

“In conducting a review of a decision about a visa, we will consider the case afresh and have the power to change the decision under review” (link)

  1. Only some refusal decisions can be reviewed by the AAT.
  2. There are strict timeframes within which to lodge and appeal with the AAT.
  3. There is a fee to lodge the application.
  4. The AAT will appoint a time and place for you to appear.
  5. Before the appointment date, it is imperative that all your evidence, opinions, and all arguments as to why the refusal should be ‘overturned’ are to be submitted to the AAT.
  6. Ultimately, the AAT will either agree with the refusal, send the decision back to the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) for reconsideration and advise that the refusal be overturned, it may make a new decision and, in some instances, refer your case to the Minister for Immigration.

What to Do

If you have had a decision against you, you must act quickly. 

  1. Firstly, get professional advice ASAP before the deadline to submit your application passes.
  2. If you contact VMSA, VMSA will conduct a no-cost phone consultation and request you email VMSA the decision record issued by the DoHA.
  3. VMSA will advise on the next step to take which can be either to appoint VMSA to lodge the application with fee ASAP, conduct an investigation into your matter and/or appoint VMSA to manage your application and AAT hearing.
  4. There is a time period to apply (generally 35 days) and if this is missed the review opportunity is gone.
  5. An application fee of $3,000 AUD is to be paid.
  6. The AAT will invite you to present your case before a Tribunal Member. You must be fully prepared with all documents, arguments and evidence identified and submitted in advance.

Visa Migration Services Australia has assisted clients to have their decisions overturned – from Partner Visa refusals, Carer Visa refusals to Talent Visa refusals, if you require immigration legal advice to review your case or require representation before the AAT, call us.