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Visa Refusal Appeals 

Has your application for an Australian Visa been refused? While this decision will likely come as a shock or disappointment, our experienced migration agents at Visaplan are able to work with you and lodge an official process for a visa refusal appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (or ‘AAT’).

Founded in 1976, the AAT is an independent, statutory body of the federal government with the power and expertise to review and where appropriate, overrule decisions made the Department. This includes visa refusals and cancellation cases, where there is a possibility the Department did not follow due process or take into consideration relevant evidence.

Based on the reasons your visa was refused by the Department, Visaplan, led by our Principal Solicitor, can formulate effective strategies and persuasive arguments to maximise your chances of a successful outcome. We can offer:​


  • Objective and Comprehensive Evaluation: 

Visaplan will firstly offer you preliminary evaluation on prospects of your visa refusal appeal case being successful by reference to strengths and weaknesses of your original application, and possible errors on the part of the Department. Every matter of appeal is carefully analyzed by a team of agents and lawyers in a highly objective and comprehensive manner, and strategized for the highest probability of winning.

  • Good Advice:

The Principal Lawyer at Visaplan has represented various agencies of the Australian Federal Government as a Legal Adviser. With the insightful understanding of the mechanisms and deliberations of the Government agencies and the Tribunal, Visaplan is always guided to ensure that you receive good professional advice that can be easily understood.


  • Peace of Mind:

Since enactment of the Migration Act in 1958, Australian Migration Law has been subject to numerous changes. As a result, Australian Migration Law is undoubtedly one of the oldest, voluminous and thus complex schemes in Australia. Applying for an Australian visa is easy as it would first appear at the outset. As professional migration agents and specialized appeal lawyers, we can cut through the complexity to offer you the best chance of securing your Australian dream with the peace of mind.


How does a visa refusal appeal work?

If your Australian visa application is refused, you will receive an official refusal letter from the Department, stating firstly, whether or not their decision is reviewable and who has the right to review, along with detailed reasons for the decision. In certain cases, the only person who can apply for review is the visa applicant or former visa holder, whereas in other cases it can only be the sponsor or a close relative. It may also be the case that the review applicant must be within Australia at the time of decision or at the time the application when the application is lodged, or both. The letter also stipulates the time limit that applies to making an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of the decision. You should always note the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to extend this time limit.

Overview of an AAT Visa Refusal Hearing


  • A delegate of the Department is usually not present but is required to provide the Tribunal with all documents which are relevant to your case.

  • You are entitled to have access to, or a copy of, the material before the Tribunal in relation to your case (although some restrictions may apply).

  • You can make written submissions or provide documentary evidence at any stage of the review. Wherever possible, the Tribunal prefers if these materials are sent electronically.

  • You may nominate a person (your representative) to represent you in the preparation and running of your visa refusal case. A representative can provide written submissions and documentary evidence and contact the Tribunal on your behalf or accompany and assist you at any meeting or hearing arranged by the Tribunal. We may invite a representative to comment on matters at a hearing, but a representative cannot make an oral presentation other than in exceptional circumstances.

  • The Tribunal is required to inform you of material information that might lead to an adverse decision and give you an opportunity to comment on or respond to that information. If you are afforded the opportunity, you should provide responses with sufficient details within a time period stipulated in the invitation. Well drafted responses may lead you to win without the need for a subsequent hearing.

  • If a matter proceeds to a hearing, a member of the Tribunal hears the case afresh and independently, with documents and information that have been provided to them.


Frequently Asked Questions