The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent body in charge of reviewing decisions made by the Australian government, including decisions made by officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to refuse or cancel visas.

How does the review process work?

The first step is to submit an application for your decision to be reviewed as well as payment of a review application fee. This begins the formal process with the AAT.

You will then receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the application and a request for files and documentation relating to the decision that is under review.

Your case will then be allocated to a representative of the AAT who will either:

  • Ask for further information.
  • Invite you to comment on the reason your application may have been refused.
  • Invite your or a nominated representative to provide oral evidence and present arguments.
  • Give you the opportunity to suggest other evidence or materials we might obtain.

Finally the representative will provide a statement of the decision and provide reasons.

How we can help.

There may have been some errors in your original application that may have resulted in the refusal of your visa application. Particularly if you submitted your application without the help of an immigration expert.

Our migration agents have detailed knowledge of what is required to submit a successful review and can help you identify the crucial information that was missing from your original application.

Our agents can also present your arguments for you at a tribunal hearing ensuring your supporting arguments are strong, and valid for a successful appeal.


A Notice of Intention to Cancel (NOIC) can be a very distressing notice to receive. Generally, a person will have breached a condition of their visa such as:

  • Failure to attend or complete studies
  • Bogus or misleading documents
  • Ceasing employment with your 457 sponsor and not finding a new sponsor in the requisite time frames.
  • Failure to fulfil a work obligation on a regional visa
  • A breakdown in a relationship for a Temporary Partner visa holder.

If you are in the migration zone (in Australia) you may appeal this notice. You will usually have 5 days to make comment as to why your visa should not be cancelled. The submission that you make will be the crucial piece of evidence that the DIBP will consider so it is an imperative that this is well thought out with appropriate evidence.

If you receive a NOIC please contact us immediately so we can help you work out the best possible response. It is important to know that whilst you may still have your visa cancelled, the evidence you provide in your submission will later be relied upon if you choose to appeal.


Visa’s are refused for all sorts of reasons. Some valid and some not. What can be very confusing for visa applicants is understanding the appeals process and their eligibility for an appeal.

Once the DIBP has made a decision they have no authority to reverse the decision unless they have made a clear jurisdictional error. In the current environment, we are seeing a high number of refusals for very petty reasons that are likely going to be overturned in the AAT.

If you have received a refusal it is important to act promptly as there are certain deadlines that must be met and have absolutely no flexibility.

Often an appeal is not the best course of action. Appeals are expensive and the waiting period can be over 12 months. We will review your entire circumstances and advise you about your options for an informed choice.

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