Visa refused? Need to appeal?

Disaster! The Department has refused your visa? Did you know you may be able to appeal?




The Tribunal (AAT) is fully independent of the Department that made the refusal decision on your visa. The AAT will fully review your case and can make a decision to “remit” the refused visa decision back to the Department with instructions that you do meet requirements.

Easy? Definitely not. It takes a good understanding of immigration law to win but the AAT is better qualified than the Department in many cases to make the visa refusal decision.  This is definitely NOT a do it yourself process. The Tribunal  (AAT) Members (the “judges”) job is to find the truth and you will have a Hearing that could be at least 2 hours and can go to 5 h

We will assess your case and advise if you have a chance to appeal successfully. You MUST move quickly. Usually you only get 21 days from when the visa refusal happened to appeal to the AAT (if in Australia) and 70 days (if outside Australia).

Do NOT expect AAT appeals will be easy. They are tough but we have good success. We must review the full file and fix up the problems the Department found.

The process from visa refusal to an AAT Hearing can take from 6 months to 2 years but, if in Australia, you generally can stay. Visas refused outside Australia are usually decided by the AAT between 6 and 12 months.

The table is a guide only and does not guarantee that any individual matter will be heard in these timeframes.

Processing times for decisions made between 1/10/17 and 31/03/18
Calendar days from lodgement to decision
Case category Decisions Within 365 days Average Median
Bridging 196 97% 37 12
Visitor 684 96% 199 219
Student refusal 1,752 29% 412 440
Temporary work 608 51% 366 359
Permanent business 321 60% 309 257
Skill linked 261 76% 272 252
Partner 1,271 39% 400 395
Family 227 43% 390 390
Student cancellation 221 51% 322 363
Nomination/Sponsor approval 696 33% 441 449
Protection 2,744 69% 278 215
Other 95 96% 106 70
By Migration/Refugee case type
Migration 6,332 49% 354 376
Refugee 2,744 69% 278 215
Total 9,076 55% 331 334

Note:  The average is the sum of all processing days divided by the number of cases processed. The median is the middle value of days, that is, the number of processing days which half of the cases exceeded and which half of the cases fell below.