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 up 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.
We have managed many appeals where an applicant was refused after they did the visa themselves or used another preparer. You should NOT use the same business if the did not succeed with the visa. We have not needed to appeal our own visa applications. We plan to win.