Visa Refusal

Has your visa application been refused by the Department of Home Affairs? Visa refusals occur on various grounds, as determined by the Department of Home Affairs. In some instances, a prior visa refusal may prevent a further visa application to be made, pursuant to section 48 of the Migration Act.

While this decision will likely come as extreme disappointment, there may still be chances to rectify the prior wrong. At Visa Plan Lawyers, our team of visa refusal lawyers can work with you and win at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).


What is the AAT? 

The AAT examines a range of administrative decisions taken by the Australia Government and provides individuals with the opportunity for fair and effective resolution of their disputes.   


Common reasons for Australian Visa Refusal 

  • The conditions of your previous visa have not been met 
  • You may have not provided sufficient information to prove the claims in your application 
  • You do not comply with the requirements of health or character in Australia 
  • You gave the wrong information, or submitted fraudulent documents in your application 
  • Not showing that you are able to support yourself financially 


What types of visas was refused? 


Appeal for Visa Refusal

Q: What happens when I apply for visa refusal to be reviewed by the AAT?

When you have lodged your appeal to the AAT, you will receive acknowledgement that your application is received. In the meantime, the Department is also notified that your application is lodged to the AAT. There is a significant backlog of cases with the AAT causing a long delay. It does not mean that you have to do nothing until your hearing is scheduled. You need to start building your case as early as you can so you can maximise your chance of success.


Q: How much is it to appeal to the AAT for visa refusal?

The application fee to the AAT is currently set at $3,374.

Should you decide to engage a migration lawyer or agent, the professional fee may vary considerably depending on complexity of the matter, professional merits and experience of the agents or lawyers.


Q: Should I engage a migration agent or lawyer for visa refusal?

You are not under any obligation to have a migration agent or lawyer to represent in your migration appeal, but attempting to appeal on your own is strongly not advised. Without proper knowledge of the procedures and the law on which your appeal relies, the chances of failure are significant. Good AAT lawyers should be able to formulate persuasive arguments, provide robust legal submission and train you for advocacy at the hearing.


Q: Can I travel overseas whilst waiting for the AAT migration review?

If you want to travel overseas, you must check with the AAT about the status of your application for review before making any travel arrangements. You would then need to check whether you have a valid visa to be lawfully allowed to re-enter Australia after you travel overseas. If not, you would need to apply for a visa with the facility that enables you to return lawfully.


Q: What happens at a hearing with the AAT migration hearing?

  • A delegate of the Department is usually not present at the hearing and has probably provided the Tribunal with all relevant documents.
  • You are entitled to have access to, or a copy of, the materials before the AAT in relation to your case, although some restrictions may apply.
  • You can make written submissions or provide documentary evidence at any stage of the review.
  • You may nominate AAT visa lawyers to represent you in the preparation and running of your case, such as Visa Plan. We can provide written submissions and documentary evidence, and contact the AAT on your behalf. We can also accompany and assist you at the hearing, but we cannot make any oral presentation unless leave is granted by the presiding Member.
  • At the hearing, the presiding Member hears the case with the documents and information that have been provided, and makes a decision independent of the Department’s determination.


Q: How long does it take until the AAT migration hearing?

Average time frames for different visa categories are published on the AAT’s website. The average number of calendar days for the migration hearings is 616 calendar days made up of:

  • Bridging Visa – 372 calendar days
  • Family Visa – 1,595 calendar days
  • Nomination/ Sponsor Approval – 1,393 calendar days
  • Partner Visa – 1,693 calendar days
  • Permanent Business Visa – 1,395 calendar days
  • Skill Linked Visa – 1,221 calendar days
  • Student Cancellation – 659 calendar days
  • Student Refusal – 533 calendar days
  • Temporary Work Visa – 1,546 calendar days
  • Visitor Visa – 672 calendar days
  • Other Visa – 1,239 calendar days


Q: Can I win against the Department of Home Affairs for visa refusal at the AAT?

It is definitely possible to win against the Department. It is a branch of the Government with a large number of employees of which some inevitably lack competency to make correct decisions. As an experienced AAT specialist law firm, we have encountered many erroneous decisions by the Department. If you feel your case was prejudiced having resulted in an adverse result, speak to us now before it is too late. Never assume that the Department is always correct!


Q: What are the success rates at the AAT migration review hearing?

The average success rate in the Migration Division of the AAT is 36% at the time of writing this although the rates may vary over time, according to the AAT statistics. Partner visas have the highest success rate of winning at the AAT at 58%, whilst employer nomination and sponsor had the lowest rate amongst substantive visas, being 29%.


Q: What happens if I lose at the AAT migration review hearing?

If you lose at the AAT, your options for further appeal are significantly limited to judicial review and ministerial intervention. Therefore, it is crucial that your AAT visa appeal is handled by the best AAT lawyers, as it is your only opportunity to argue on the basis of the merits of your case. Judicial review, by contrast, is only available in cases of jurisdictional error by the AAT.


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