Appealing a Visa Decision – How Do I Appeal a Visa Refusal?

How to appeal a decision made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection refused visa application?

If your application for a visitor visa, enter or stay, visa extension in Australia is refused, you may be able to appeal counter to the decision.

The Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal deals with conclusions about general visa applications and decisions about protection visas.

Applying for review at the AAT

If the Department of Home Affairs refuses an submission for a visa, other than a protection visa, you can ask the tribunal to review the decision. This comprises decisions about visitor, Australia student, Family or Spouse visa, business or skilled visas. This is called ‘making an appeal’.

There are stringent time limits for making an appeal process. Time restrictions depend on the type of result and whether you are in immigration confinement. The time limit cannot be extended.

You should get legal advice instantly after you obtain the decision.

Appeal Fees for review of general visa submission judgments

There are costs for having a visa decision go through by the tribunal. In most cases, you have to pay a fee of $3,000 when you apply.

The application fee can be reduced 50% if the tribunal:

  • If decision is in your favour
  • is fulfilled that payment of the full fee has begun, or is likely to cause, severe economic hardship.

If the AAT court decides that your application for review is worthless, you will be refunded the full amount.

If you take out your application, the tribunal can only refund your application fee in very partial conditions.

Applying for review of a conclusion to refuse a protection visa

There is an altered appeal process for protection visas. You need to request the tribunal to appraisal the decision.

If you are in immigration detention you have seven days to make an appeal. If you are not in detention, you have 28 days.

Appeal costs for appraisal of protection visa application conclusions

If you are appealing a decision about a guard visa, there is no application fee to go to the tribunal. However, if your application is failed you will have to pay $3,000.

Applying for evaluation of a decision to Visa refusal on character grounds

If the Department of Home Affairs has refused a visa on ‘character’ grounds, following a Sign of Intention to Consider Cancellation, you may appeal this conclusion to the tribunal.

Examples of these character grounds include:

  • a criminal background history
  • Committed crimes while you were in immigration custody.

There are identical severe time limits for making an appeal to the hearing. If you are in Australia and your visa has been refused or cancelled on character grounds, you only have 9 days from the date of the decision to lodge your visa appeal. The tribunal has no control to cover this time limit.

If your visa is mandatorily invalid, you have no factual of appeal to the tribunal. If you are presently serving a full-time verdict and have ever been punished to 12 months or more custody (regardless of real time served) or have dedicated a sexual crime linking a child, your visa must be cancelled under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). You have 28 days from the date of termination to request a cancellation of the obligatory termination decision.

A decision by the Department of Home Affairs to not withdraw an obligatory cancellation decision is reviewable and you must apply to the tribunal within nine days of being informed of the decision.

Appealing decisions of the tribunal

If you apply for a review of a conclusion at the tribunal and you drop, you may be able to appeal to the Federal Court.

This is a different kind of appeal. You have to show that the court made a legal error in the way that it directed your case. The grounds for appeal are very imperfect and you will absolutely need am Immigration lawyer to help you.

Questions about appealing a visa decision? Book a 30-minute consultation online with one of our expert immigration lawyers.