Visa Refusal Appeals

Has your visa application been refused by the Department of Home Affairs? While this decision will likely come as a shock or disappointment, Visa Plan’s team of specialists are able to work with you from lodging an official application and win at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (or abbreviated as ‘AAT’).

Founded in 1976, the AAT is an independent, statutory body of the Federal Australian Government with the statutory power and expertise to review and where appropriate, set aside or overrule decisions by the Department. This applies to matters of visa refusals and cancellations for which the decisions have been incorrectly reached. These matters are highly complex which require expert knowledge of the recent cases and statutory amendments as well as persuasive drafting skills.

​Having represented the Australian Government as a legal adviser, James understands deliberation and decision-making processes of the Government. James is leading the team of AAT specialists at Visa Plan in formulating effective strategies and persuasive arguments to maximise your chance of a successful outcome at the AAT.

AAT Hearing

  • A delegate of the Department is usually not present at the hearing 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 AAT 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 AAT prefers if these materials are sent electronically.

  • You may nominate a person to represent you in the preparation and running of your case. A representative can provide written submissions and documentary evidence, and contact the AAT on your behalf. They may also accompany and assist you at any meeting or hearing arranged by the AAT in which they may be invited for comment. However, representatives cannot make any oral presentation unless under exceptional circumstances.

  • The AAT 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 detailed responses within the set timeline.

  • At a hearing, a presiding Member of the AAT hears the case with documents and information that have been provided, afresh and independently of the considerations of the Department.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I travel overseas during the review?

    If you want to travel overseas, you must contact the AAT before making any travel arrangements, to check the status of your application for review. You should also check with the Department whether you have a valid visa to be lawfully allowed to travel overseas and re-enter Australia.

    What happens after I lodge an application for review to the Tribunal?

    Upon lodgement of your appeal application with the AAT, you will receive acknowledgement that your application is received by the AAT. In the meantime, the other side, that is the Department, is also notified that your application is received by the AAT.

    Can I win against the Department?

    The Department is a large organisation where some delegates and case officers inevitably lack adequate training to be able to make correct decisions. According to our professional experience, there have been many incidents of errors on the part of the Department. In the end, it is an organisation with a large number of people, prone to human errors. We therefore strongly advise that you do not assume that the Government does not make mistakes and the mistakes cannot be remedied.

    How long does it take until the hearing?

    Average calendar days from lodgement to finalisation (as at 31 October 2019)
  • Bridging Visa – 10 calendar days
  • Family Visa – 472 calendar days
  • Nomination/ Sponsor Approval – 644 calendar days
  • Partner Visa – 658 calendar days
  • Permanent Business Visa – 574 calendar days
  • Skill Linked Visa – 183 calendar days
  • Student Cancellation – 472 calendar days
  • Student Refusal – 566 calendar days
  • Temporary Work Visa – 552 calendar days
  • Visitor Visa – 453 calendar days
  • Other Visa – 321 calendar days
  • ​Total average for migration case categories – 545 calendar days