What if you have your visa application refused

Administrative Appeals Tribunal – Migration Division

If you have had a visa application refused or you have had your visa cancelled, you may be able to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (‘AAT’).

What is the AAT, and why?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is an independent merits review body for most administrative decisions by the Federal Government. In most cases, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is the first available appeal avenue considering your case under merits review process.

In some cases, appeal directly to the Federal Court is available but a Federal Court appeal is very rare and would only be successful if there was an error in the way the law was applied to your case.

These merits reviews before the AAT are however conducted independently from the DHA and often presents a better opportunity to explain your case before a tribunal member as the member exercises all the powers and discretions and the facts of your situation independently. Your migration lawyer or agent can represent your merits review case before the AAT but that there is no representing counsel on the Department of Immigration side. At this time, any relevant facts can be taken into consideration and you do get the opportunity to tender new evidence to the Tribunal.

Moreover, if you are seeking to have Ministerial intervention in your matter, you must first have the matter reviewed in the Migration Division of the AAT.


In order to review your visa refusal to the AAT, you must ensure that your immigration decision is reviewable and that you meet the certain time limits. In general, you must lodge your appeal within 21 days of the decision, however, the time limit will depend on the type of the decision you received.

In most cases, the Department will specify in your visa decision notifying you in a letter as to whether your visa refusal is a reviewable decision and the time limit applicable to you. In some cases where this is not the case, we will determine your case and identify as to what the time limits are and whether your visa decision is reviewable.

Our Service

Having experienced a visa refusal/cancellation can be very stressful and daunting, and most of the time, the applicants are unaware of where they stand and grounds for appeal. Hence, it is very important that you find the right representative and make the most of your opportunity for appealing a visa decision.

Infinite Migration have represented clients successfully at the AAT on many occasions. If you would like legal advice and assistance in making an appeal case for your refusal or cancellation, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of our migration lawyers/agents. Through the consultation with us, you will have an indication of the overall prospects of success and likely issues in your case, as well as any alternative visa pathways.

If you decide to have Infinite Migration act on your behalf, we will commit to guide you through the appeals process to achieve a successful outcome.

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