Appeal It Through The AAT

If you’ve had your visa refused it is not the end of the road, you can appeal to the AAT to have the decision reassessed with fresh, independent eyes. SJ Legals offer sage legal and migration advice to those with migration related issues. The AAT Australia is a statutory review body that has the power to overturn and review decisions made by the minister of the department of immigration or delegates of the department of immigration. Here’s a few tips that may help you to navigate your AAT review process.

How long does the AAT process take?

The AAT Australia generally reviews cases in date order, but gives priority to cases where:

  1. a person is in immigration detention;
  2. there is a question as to whether the AAT has jurisdiction to conduct a review;
  3. an authorised person decides there are compelling reasons for priority;
  4. a visa has been cancelled;
  5. a court has remitted or returned a matter for the AAT to reconsider;
  6. the applicant has made a further application, following the initial application being remitted to the department and again refused; or
  7. there is a close family visitor refusal (in limited circumstances).

As each case is different, it is difficult to say how long it will take for the AAT to make a decision on your case.  The length of a review can depend on a variety of factors.  The AAT Australia website has further information on how cases are prioritised and average processing times.

You can request that priority be given to allocating and processing your case, if you believe that there are compelling reasons to warrant it.  Any request should be in writing and accompanied by supporting evidence.  The AAT will advise you of our decision about priority in writing. If you require assistance in having your AAT review conducted with priority, get in touch with SJ Legals today.

Where will my AAT application be processed?

The AAT process applications at their registries in either NSW or Victoria, based on the residential address of the applicants at the time of lodgement of the review application.  Where applicants are located in NSW, ACT, NT or QLD, their applications are processed in NSW.  Where applicants are located in Victoria, SA, WA or Tasmania, their applications are processed in Victoria.

What happens next in the AAT process?

The AAT will now ask the department of immigration to provide any documents or files it has that relate to the decision you want reviewed.

The AAT can only review a decision if a valid application has been made.  The AAT will advise you if it appears that your application is not valid. If you require assistance with making a valid application, get in touch with SJ Legals today. Our expert team of lawyers will ensure that you obtain a successful decision. 

The AAT review process varies according to the circumstances of each case.  The AAT may:

  • ask for further information if required;
  • invite you to comment on any information;
  • invite you to appear to give oral evidence and present arguments at a hearing (in some cases, this may be by telephone or videoconference) if a decision cannot be made based solely on your application and other documents submitted; and
  • invite you to nominate other people who could give or provide evidence; and invite you to suggest other evidence or materials that we might obtain.

In some cases, the AAT may announce the decision at the end of the hearing, or the AAT may decide to send you written reasons for the oral decision, in which case you will be sent the reasons within 14 days after the hearing. However, in most cases a decision will not be made at the end of the hearing, and when the AAT makes a decision, we will send you and the department a written statement of the decision and reasons.

Can I provide the AAT with further evidence?

If you have not already provided a copy of the department’s decision, or any other material which you believe supports your application, including a statement explaining why you disagree with the department of immigration’s decision, please do so as soon as possible. You can lodge forms, documents, and submissions through the AAT’s online lodgement facility. If you need assistance in providing information to the AAT, get in touch with SJ Legals today and get it right the first time round.

How will the AAT correspond with you?

You may choose to have correspondence sent to yourself, or you may nominate a person to receive correspondence on your behalf (this person is known as your authorised recipient).

If you nominate an authorised recipient, the AAT will send all correspondence to that person.  SJ Legals are experienced at acting as authorised recipients and can act on your behalf for all aspects of your AAT review. 

What if I decide to withdraw my AAT review?

An application can be withdrawn at any time.  If you do so, we will not take any further action and the decision under review will remain unchanged.  A refund of the application fee on withdrawal is only available in very limited circumstances, such as the death of the visa applicant or a member of that applicant’s family unit, or following the grant of a visa of the same class (other than on a reconsideration of the points score, applicable to the assessment process for certain skilled visa subclasses).

If you’ve had your visa refused it is not the end of the road, you can appeal to the AAT to have the decision reassessed with fresh, independent eyes. SJ Legals offer sage legal and migration advice to those with migration related issues. Get in touch with SJ Legals today for assistance throughout the entire AAT process.

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