Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) – Merits Review & Appeal

You may be eligible to lodge a Review or Appeal application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if your Visa is refused or cancelled. It is important to note that the Administrative Appeal Tribunal follows a strict protocol involving the appeal process. The applicants must be familiar with the complete process before lodging the review application with AAT.


Role of Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Visa Cancellation or Refusal Appeals.

The Migration and Refuge division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent and unbiased body that can review the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs related to your Visa Refusal or Visa cancellation.

You should lodge a review appeal to AAT if you feel that the Department made a mistake in its decision, and you need an independent body to revisit the decision made by the Department.
The AAT will review the appeal on merit, which means that the Tribunal will take a fresh look at the application. The applicant is given a chance to submit new documents to support the appeal.


How can AAT Help the Visa Applicants:

AAT will review the Department’s decision and can take one of of the following decisions:


AAT Decisions Type


Set Aside

Set aside means that AAT will make a new decision to substitute the Department’s decision. Or, AAT will return your matter to the department for reconsideration. The decision “Set Aside” is mostly in favour of the applicant.


Remit means that AAT will ask the department to reconsider your matter by taking into account the findings by AAT members. 

This type of decision also goes in favour of applicants in most cases.


Affirm means the AAT has decided that the original decision by the Department was correct, and you would not get any relief. Instead, you should either accept it or challenge the AAT decision in Federal Circuit Court.


Your Visa Status after you Lodge a Review Appeal

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a Bridging Visa to stay in Australia lawfully until the outcome of your AAT Appeal. A registered Migration agent should also assess and apply for a bridging Visa for you during the AAT Review application process.

AAT Decision Timeframes

How much time will AAT take to decide on your review application is not fixed. It is several months and depends on many factors, including how well your application was prepared, how well a submission was written, and the number of existing review applications in the queue.

Time Frame to Lodge a Review Appeal with AAT

The timeframe within which you must lodge your review application with AAT is always mentioned in the Visa Refusal or Cancellation letter. In most cases, the timeframe for lodging your review application with AAT is 21 days after the decision was made in case of Visa refusals and 7 days in case of Visa Cancellations.
The applicant loses the right to review if the review application is not lodged within the allowed timeframe.  

Chances of AAT decision in Applicants favour

AAT is an unbiased independent body, and the chances of the decision to turn in your favour are high in case:

  • You and your agent genuinely believe that the department’s staff made a mistake in your case.
  • You have prepared a solid application with all documentation required.
  • You have prepared a strong submission on legal grounds.


What will happen after the AAT Decision?

The tribunal shall inform the Department of Home Affairs and the applicant’s legal representative about its decision. The applicant’s Visa status may change after the Tribunal decision is sent to the Department.

  • When the Decision is Affirm:

If the decision is “Affirm”, bridging Visa will be ceased within 35 days after the AAT decision is made. 

  • When the decision is Set Aside:

Your bridging Visa will be cancelled, and the original Visa that you applied for will be activated.

  • When the decision is “Remit:

If the decision is REMIT, your Bridging visa will remain active and the department will start processing your original application. The bridging visa will remain in effect until the department makes a decision on the original application.


Next Steps if AAT decision is Affirm “Against You”

An experienced and honest Migration agent would generally not take up your case if the chances of refusal at AAT are high. Instead, would guide you on how to handle the situation in some other ways depending on your circumstances.

However, you can take the following steps to fight for your right or to gain the time.

  • Federal Circuit Court
  • Ministerial Intervention.


Considering Other Options:

Going for an Appeal is not always the best option for some applicants. You should consult your Brilliant Migration Club to look for other Visa options you may have depending on your current circumstances.
In some cases, it is better to reapply for the visa by eliminating the mistake that an applicant may have made in the previous application that caused the refusal.

AAT-Application-Steps-and-Process - Best Immigration Agency

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Application Steps and Process

Step-1:  Check the Appeal Right

Check your Refusal Letter or Cancellation letter and find out whether you have been given the right to review. Generally, most of the Onshore applicants are given the right to appeal.

Step-2: Check the Timeframe allowed to Appeal.

Check your refusal letter or Cancellation letter and find out how much time you have been given by the Department within which you must lodge your appeal. The starting date is generally the date when the decision was made. 

Step-3: Initial Advice from AAT Expert Migration Agent

Immigration law is a complex matter. The appeal process is quite daunting, complex and stressful. You must engage an experienced Migration Agent who has the experience to deal with AAT cases and is willing to do a detailed study about your case.
Remember that if you do not handle it well this time, you will not have any other chance to appeal again.

Step-4: Prepare the Documents and Lodge your Application

After you have engaged a MIgration agent, it is time to quickly prepare all the documentation and gather all pieces of evidence that can go in your favor.
A well-written submission in legal language is one of the most critical steps in preparation for your Appeal.

Step-5: Bridging Visa

You need a Bridging Visa to stay in Australia Lawfully until the outcome of your AAT appeal. Bridging visas can be complex, particularly where you have had a visa refusal or cancellation. 

Note: You cannot stay in Australia lawfully based on your Appeal to AAT. You must separately apply for a Bridging Visa.

AAT expert Migration Agents at Brilliant Migration Club can advise you on the necessary bridging visas and make any required applications for bridging visas, including for work rights or travel rights.

Step-6: Prepare for Hearing

Be prepared and practice for your Hearing appearance at AAT. Hearing means that the members at AAT would question you about your appeal. You must think and practice all the possible questions that the member may ask and respond in a way that should not be conflicting with your submitted submission and the documents. Most applicants mistake creating conflict in their own submitted documents due to the stress during the hearing process.

Brilliant Migration Club will highlight, guide, and assist you in how to practice your hearing.

Step-7: Wait for Outcome

You should wait for the outcome from AAT after your hearing and should expect a positive outcome if you have worked hard to prepare and present your appeal the right way.



Cost and Fee for Administrative Appeals Tribunal

As per July 2021, the free for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal appeal is:

Tribunal Fee

AUD 3000.00

Brilliant Migration Club representative Fee

AUD 2500.00

How to Pay the FEE to Tribunal:


  • credit card (MasterCard and Visa only)

  • cheque

  • money order

  • cash.

Tribunal Fee Refund

If the review is decided in your favor, the tribunal will refund:

  • 50% of the reduced fee amount you paid; or

  • 50% of the full application fee if you paid the full fee.


Expert-Migration-Agent-for-Review-Appeal-at-AAT-Australian best immigration agent

Expert Migration Agent for Review Appeal at AAT

Representing clients at the AAT requires a comprehensive knowledge of visa requirements and the relevant applicable law, the ability to research relevant case law and expertise in the processes and procedures of AAT appeals.

Brilliant Migration Club has helped many clients with the Sussceffuly AAT appeal application. Get in touch today to discuss your case with our AAt experienced Migration Agents.


How can we help you?

  1. During the first appointment, we will assess your case and provide you with our assessment of whether it is in your benefit to spend money and time going for AAT appeal or using other options.
  2. We will provide you with the accurate service agreement, service free quote and other relevant information describing the role and obligations of both parties.
  3. Will provide you with a clear agreement without any hidden fees.
  4. We will prepare a documents list for you to provide tailored according to your case.
  5. Will prepare a strong legal submission to present your case keeping in view all the legal frameworks applicable to your application type.
  6. We will represent you at AAT.
  7. Will guide you about the Hearing process and will accompany you when needed.
  8. We will communicate with the AAT and the department on your behalf as your legal representatives.