Visa review | Appealing Australian visa decisions
How do I apply for a visa review?
If your visa has been refused you typically have 21 or 28 days to apply for a review of the department’s decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. And if this is also unsuccessful you can consider seeking Ministerial Intervention.
Is there a time limit on visa appeals?
Yes. Time limits to review a decision are statutory and can’t be extended for any reason.
If you don’t lodge an application for a visa review in the required timeframe the matter is finalised and you’ll need to leave the country unless you hold another visa.
What is the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is an independent review body, separate to the Department of Immigration.
It applies the same laws and policies as the Department of Immigration but has the authority to review department decisions and potentially overrule them.
Its role is to consider if the relevant laws and policies, along with the discretionary judgements of department case officers, have been properly applied to the facts of a visa application.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal may agree with the department’s decision or it can revert the application back to the department on the basis that you meet criteria for the visa.
If the matter is reverted back, the department will continue to process the application.
While this doesn’t guarantee a visa being granted, it is indicative that it will be if relevant criteria are fulfilled.
Why choose Alan Rigas Solicitors for your visa review?
When lodging an Administrative Appeals Tribunal, we prepare detailed submissions to assist the tribunal in understanding your matter and why the visa should be granted.
We also help clients prepare for tribunal hearings where they are asked questions by a presiding tribunal member.
The tribunal in this jurisdiction is inquisitorial – designed to find out more information about your specific circumstances – and not adversarial. You need to know your application intimately.
Expertly drafted submissions are the cornerstone of your review application. Good submissions addressing the issues pave the way for a good hearing.
What will a Australian visa review cost?
All Administrative Appeals Tribunal reviews are subject to an application fee – currently $AU1764 per review applicant. This must be paid when lodging your review application.
Protection visa reviews are exempt from this fee until after the decision is made, at which point the applicant will be required to pay if the review fails.
Applicants may be eligible for a 50% discount on review application fees if they can demonstrate the cost will cause them financial hardship. However, the first 50% of the fee must be paid when lodging the review application.
What is a Judicial Review?
If the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirms the department’s decision to refuse a visa application, you may have an opportunity to have the Tribunal’s decision reviewed by the Federal Circuit Court to determine if there was an error.
To get help with your visa review or visa appeal, contact Alan Rigas Solicitors on (02) 9635 5333.
You should lodge the judicial review application before your bridging visa expires (28 days from refusal notification) so you can obtain another bridging visa with the same conditions as the one you’re currently on. This is particularly important if you have work rights and wish to keep them.
Speed up your visa review process
If your visa has been refused and you want us to act for you, speed up the process by supplying:
- a copy of your file held by your previous lawyer or migration agent
- a copy of the visa application and all supporting documents and submissions
- a copy of all correspondence with the Department of Immigration
- a copy of the decision notice and the actual decision
If you are unsuccessful in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and in a Judicial Review, a final option may still be available to you – you may seek the Minister’s Intervention.
The Minister’s powers are discretionary. They may intervene if they believe it’s in the public interest, but they are not compelled to do so.
Factors considered by the Minister include:
- strong compassionate circumstances which, if ignored, would result in irreparable harm and continuing hardship to an Australian family (where at least one member of the family is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident) or an Australian citizen
- length of time the person has been in Australia (including time spent in detention) and their level of integration into the Australian community
- the persons age
- the persons health and psychological state
- exceptional economic, scientific, cultural or other benefit to Australia
- circumstances that may bring Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) into consideration
- circumstances that may bring Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) into consideration
- circumstances that the legislation does not anticipate
- clearly unintended consequences of legislation.
- intended, but in the particular circumstances particularly unfair or unreasonable consequences of legislation.
- where there is a threat to a person’s personal security, human rights or human dignity on return to their country of origin, including people who may have been refugees at time of departure from their country of origin, but due to changes in their country, are not now refugees and it would be inhumane to return them to their country of origin because of their subjective fear (i.e torture or trauma, systematic program of harassment, denial of basic rights available to others in their country, etc.)
The Minister receives many intervention requests each year so it’s important your request be comprehensively prepared and all supporting documents provided at the time the application is submitted.
If you’ve previously submitted a Ministerial Intervention request you can submit another but it must contain new information otherwise it will be rejected (and the subsequent decision finalised) without being forwarded to the Minister for consideration.
If it is the first time you are submitting an application to the minister for intervention you are eligible for Bridging Visa E. This visa will keep you in Australia until the review is finalised.