You may be eligible to review a refused or cancelled visa through the AAT

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)


If the Department of Home Affairs (Department) has refused or cancelled your visa application, you may be eligible to apply for a review of the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Many types of migration decisions can be reviewed by the AAT, including:

  • Visa and citizenship refusals or cancellations;
  • Refusals related to nominations (e.g., occupation, activity or position);
  • Refusals related to sponsorship (e.g., refusal to approve a sponsor); and
  • Refusals relating to security.

If your visa application has been refused or cancelled, you will receive a letter from the Department specifying why your visa has been refused or cancelled.

In only the most exceptional circumstances, you may be prevented from lodging another visa application if your visa application has been refused or cancelled.


Time Limits


Generally, the time limit to apply for an AAT review is 21 days from when you are deemed to have received the decision.

In some circumstances, the visa applicant’s sponsor, nominator, relative, or even a selected person, may be able to apply for a review on the visa applicant’s behalf.


Examples of Refused or Cancelled Visas


A visa may be refused or cancelled if:

  1. The applicant is determined to not be of good character and has not satisfied the good character requirements;
  2. False information was provided with the visa application (which sometimes occurs by mistake); and/or
  3. You do not meet the visa criteria.

Equally, your nominator or sponsor may be refused, meaning you will need to apply for a review of that decision before you can apply for a review of your application.


What are the chances of winning AAT?


From July 2023 to March 2024, the majority of Family Visa, Partner Visa, Skilled Visas, and Temporary Work Visa appeals were successful, according to the AAT website.

Partner Visa appeals had a 61% success rate, followed by Family Visas (57%), and Skilled Visas (40%, compared to the 22% of affirmed appeals).

Protection Visas had the lowest percentage of success upon appeal (12%).


How long does it take for an AAT hearing?


Generally, an AAT hearing lasts between 1 and 3 hours.

In some circumstances, it may exceed this time.

The outcome of the matter may be announced at the end of the hearing or a later date.


If your AAT Appeal is successful


If your AAT appeal is successful, the decision will be remitted to the Department to decide whether to grant your refused visa or revoke your cancelled visa.


If your AAT Appeal is unsuccessful


If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may be able to further appeal to the Federal Circuit & Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) or Federal Court of Australia (FCA).

The Minister for Home Affairs (Minister) also has the power to intervene and replace a migration decision made by the AAT, as per the Migration Act 1958.

This is called ministerial intervention.

The Minister can make a decision that is more favourable to the visa applicant if they believe it is in the public’s interest to do so, although the Minister is not legally obligated to intervene.


Contact Us


It is strongly recommended that you explore your options via an immigration expert, such as a migration agent or migration lawyer, to enhance your prospects of success.

We have assisted countless clients with AAT, FCFCOA and FCA appeals.

Contact Bambrick Legal to schedule a consultation with our migration team. Our team is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, and Italian.

Read more about our Migration and Citizenship services here.

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