What happens if my visa application is refused?

If your visa application has been refused, or your visa has been cancelled, you will be given a decision which may be reviewable. If it can be reviewed then you can have your case reheard again. At that time, you may also be eligible to apply for another visa, so if you find yourself in this situation you need to act quickly because your time to have the application reviewed will be limited. That is why it is important to use professional assistance of an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent.


What can I do after the refusal?

The role of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is to review decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The AAT has the power to affirm, vary or set aside the DHA’s decision, or remit the matter back to the DHA for further consideration with specific directions. The AAT considers visa-related refusals and cancellations. You can apply to the AAT for a review provided you are physically present in Australia when the application for review is made. For off-shore visa refusals, rights of review are limited to sponsors, nominators or relatives in Australia. So applications can be reviewed offshore subject to meeting certain conditions.


Who can apply to the AAT for review?

  • you are in Australia and applied for a visa and this application was refused
  • you are in Australia and your visa was cancelled by the DHA
  • you are in Australia and your visa was cancelled and your application to have the cancellation revoked was refused by the DHA
  • you are sponsored or nominated by an employer or another person for a visa, and you lodged this visa application outside of Australia. Your sponsor or nominator may apply to the AAT for review of the decision to refuse your visa application. Individuals who may be able to apply for AAT review on this basis include applicants who are sponsored by their employer or partner or other eligible family members.
  • you are an employer who applied for Standard Business Sponsorship and this application was refused


What will happen after the review?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) can decide to affirm, set aside or remit the DHA’s decision for further consideration. The AAT may then give the DHA further directions that it must take into account when reconsidering its decision.


What are my options if my appeal fails at the AAT?

If the AAT decides to ‘affirm’ the decision of the DHA, meaning that they agree with the original refusal decision, you might be able to take your case further by appealing the decision to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCCA) if there has been a legal error made at the AAT. Unlike the AAT the FCCA does not consider new material or evidence that was not made available to the AAT. It is highly recommended to engage a lawyer to represent you at the FCC because to be successful you need to establish that on the law errors were made by the AAT.


Withstand Lawyers specialises in Visa Refusals, so please contact our lawyers for personalised Visa Refusal Appeal or book a meeting to make the whole process easier and faster.

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