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Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) carries out independent merits review of decisions made under Commonwealth laws which include Australian departments and agencies. It is also known as a merit review tribunal. In the Migration Act 1958, many of the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs are AAT-reviewable decision and can be appeal at the AAT. This include migration and visa-related decisions namely a visa refusal decision for an applicant who is in Australia or a decision to cancel a visa when the applicant is onshore.

The AAT Review

The AAT reviews a decision based “on the merits”. This means that the AAT will review each case from the start looking at the facts, law and policy relating to the decision and arrive at their own decision. The AAT can question the applicant about anything and usually look at the matter from a different angle and sometimes the applicant can be caught off-guard. The delegates must make the legally correct decision and have the power to affirm a decision, vary a decision, set aside a decision and replace it with a new decision, or remit the decision to the decision-make to reconsider the earlier decision.

It is a popular means of appeal to many visa applicants in Australia who has a visa refused or visa cancelled while in Australia. AAT review rights is only available to application made onshore and not applicable to applications made outside Australia. The objective of the AAT is to provide a review process which is accessible and fair to promote better public trust and confidence in the decision-making of the Tribunal and the Australian system as a whole.

Who can apply for AAT review?

You may be eligible to apply for AAT review if:

  • You made a visa application while in Australia and the application was refused while you are in Australia.
  • Your visa was cancelled while you are in Australia.
  • You lodged a visa application which is sponsored by a person or an organization while you are outside Australia and the visa was refused. Your sponsor may apply for AAT review of the decision to refuse the visa application. This include the partner visa, family member visa, employment visa, visitor visa (family sponsored stream), etc.
  • You are an employer that applied for Standard Business Sponsorship and the application was refused.

We can help you make the application for a review of your visa application decision. As the AAT completed its own independent investigation and assessment of your application, we can assist you to prepare all evidences, forms and submission to the AAT for their consideration. Should there be a hearing, we can advise you on relevant evidence and documents to prepare.

In preparing a comprehensive submission to the AAT for review, we can assist you to obtain a copy of records held by the Department about your application from the start which may include all evidence, documents, forms and interview records. We can make an application to the Department by completing Form 424A to obtain all your relevant information known as Freedom of Information request with the Department.

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