Has your student visa or visa extension application been rejected? Are you currently based in Australia? Are you an international student and need to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)?

If your answer is “yes”, read on for some helpful information.   

Application for student visas may be refused despite a student’s good grades and qualifications, good background, possession of valid passport, and sufficient financial means to support their stay in Australia. Sadly, visa refusal may negatively impact a student’s future aspirations.

A case of visa refusal may be appealed to the AAT for review depending on your eligibility. If you still hold a valid visa, you may be eligible to apply for a new student visa. You may be able to do this on your own or engage an immigration lawyer to handle your matter. An immigration lawyer will be able to draft the necessary documents required for your application.

The process of appeal to the AAT

If your student visa is refused while you are in Australia, here are a list of steps you can take to appeal to the AAT. As the process can be time consuming, you need to be patient.

  • The first step in this process is to submit your appeal to the AAT. You must ensure that the application is submitted within the time limits set by the legislation.
  • Pay the designated fee.
  • Draft a comprehensive submission with detailed information for the AAT.
  • Provide further information to the AAT as sought.
  • Once all the required documents are received, AAT will set a hearing date.
  • You may or may not be required to attend the hearing depending on your case.
  • On the date of the hearing, you must have your files and other documents handy so that information can be provided to the AAT member as needed.
  • The AAT will make its decision.
  • Depending on the outcome, you may be eligible for the refund of the fees.

What can you do if you do not agree with the AAT’s decision?  

If you do not agree with the decision of the AAT, you may be able to appeal the decision. 

Federal Circuit and Family Court– In some cases, an appeal can be made to for a judicial review if the issue relates to a question of law. An appeal to the Federal Circuit and Family Court must be made within 35 days after the date of the court’s decision.

Ministerial Intervention – Make a submission to the minister for their intervention.

It is recommended to carefully collect all the evidence that have led to visa refusal in the first place. You must evaluate your errors and make sure that you do not repeat the same.

How Long Does the Appeal Process Take?

Visa TypeAverage Processing Time in Days
Visitor Visa729
Student Refusal530
Student Cancellation450
Family Visa618
Temporary Work Visas885
Partner Visa784
Permanent Business Visa933
Bridging Visas19
Skilled Work Visas578


Can I apply for a visa again after my visa is refused?

You can apply for another visa if your visa is refused initially, and you still hold a valid visa. However, you can apply for a visa appeal first. If you are able to provide justification and produce evidence on the grounds for refusal, then your appeal request may change the refusal decision.

What if I don’t agree with the AAT decision?

If you don’t agree with the decision made after your appeal to the AAT, you can apply for a judicial review.

How do I know the AAT received my appeal request?

After you lodge your AAT appeal application, the AAT will send you a letter of confirmation. You will be notified of the next steps in the letters

Contact Us

If your visa has been refused, we would be happy to assist you. Contact Ghothane Lawyers to discuss your case.

*Note: The information covered in this article is general in kind only and does not represent legal advice.