If your visa is refused or cancelled, you can appeal to Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) if you have the review rights. AAT has the power under the Migration to make a decision in your favour and decide that the Department’s decision is incorrect and send the matter back to the Department for reconsideration. If the matter is sent back to the Department for reconsideration, generally speaking, the Department will grant the visa or revoke the visa cancellation.
The AAT can also decide that the Department’s decision was correct and if this occurs, then your appeal is not successful.
Who can apply for AAT review
In the following situations, you can appeal your visa refusals/cancellation to AAT:
- You are in Australia, applied for a visa and this application was refused or cancelled by the Department.
- You are in Australia, and your visa was cancelled and your application to have the cancellation revoked was refused by the Department.
- You are sponsored or nominated by an employer or another person for a visa, and you lodged this visa application outside of Australia.
- You are an employer that applied for Standard Business Sponsorship and this application was refused.
The AAT cannot review a decision to cancel a visa if the cancellation occurred when the visa holder was outside of Australia.
If the visa applicant is in Australia, then they are the person who should apply for review. If the visa applicant is overseas, then their Australian sponsor, nominator or family member makes the application for review.
Time limit to apply for review
If your visa is refused or cancelled and you are eligible to apply for a review, in most cases you only have 28 days to apply for a review to AAT
Bridging visa and remaining in Australia
If your visa is refused and you apply within the time limit, then you will be granted a Bridging Visa which lets you stay in Australia lawfully until AAT makes a decision on your application.
Generally speaking, waiting times are very lengthy and is around 12 to 18 months.