Merits Reviews and Cancellations

If you have had a visa refusal by the Department, you may have the right to challenge the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The Migration Division of the AAT has jurisdiction to review certain visa decisions on applications related to matters such as business visas, student visas, family visas and visa cancellations on character grounds.  It conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. It considers the evidence, and the legislation against which the evidence is assessed.  

Not all decisions are reviewable however, and the AAT can only review a decision if a law states that the decision can be reviewed.   

The AAT will review the Department’s decision and decide whether it has carried out its administrative process legally. It can either affirm the Department’s decision (agree with it/maintain it as true); remit (send) the decision back to the Department with a direction to reconsider; vary a decision or substitute a decision with its own.   

Your first step is to find out if your decision can be reviewed. Don’t delay as there are time restrictions in lodging an application and if you miss the deadline you could face disastrous consequences.  

We can assist you by: 

  • Reviewing, and advising on, the Department’s decision 
  • Lodging your application with the AAT 
  • Obtaining and reviewing the relevant Department files 
  •  Drafting legal submissions that will address the factual and legal issues that were raised in the Department decision 
  • Drafting any relevant statutory declarations 
  • Prepare you and any relevant witnesses for your hearing at the AAT 
  • Attend the hearing with you