Administrative Appeals Tribunal
If your visa is refused or cancelled, you might be able to have the decision reviewed by a merits review tribunal.
The AAT is an independent organisation that reviews government decisions. Within the AAT, specialist offices review specific types government decisions.
Departmental decisions are usually reviewed within the AAT’s:
- General Division, which reviews decisions relating to:
- character matters (including section 501 of the Migration Act 1958)
- citizenship matters; or
- Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) matters.
- Migration and Refugee Division (MRD), which reviews decisions relating to most migration and refugee visa refusals (including refusal of sponsorship or nomination) and visa cancellations.
- Immigration Assessment Authority, an independent office within the AAT’s MRD that reviews fast track reviewable decisions relating to certain Protection visa decisions.
Not all decisions are reviewable by the AAT. For example, you cannot apply to have a decision reviewed by the AAT if the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection personally decides to refuse or cancel your visa under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958.
What will happen after review?
The review tribunal will make one of the following decisions:
This is when the AAT agrees with the department’s decision to cancel or refuse your visa and so the decision that the department has made will stand.
the Department’s decision, meaning the AAT has the view that the decision should be changed. The AAT may replace (substitute) the decision with a new decision.
the Department’s decision, meaning the AAT has the view that the decision must be reconsidered. The department is required to reconsider the application having regard to the directions made by the AAT.
meaning the AAT had no power to review the departments decision.