Review of Decisions at the Administrative Appeal Tribunal

PK Harrison Australian Visa Services assist employers and applicants alike prepare and submit an application for review of a decision made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Additionally, we represent you at your review hearing and provide further written or verbal evidence as required.

The Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) review decisions made by officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to refuse or cancel visas. The AAT can also review decisions relating to refusal and cancellation of sponsorship and nomination applications. This is done by a process known as merits review.

Merits review is an administrative reconsideration of a case. The AAT make a decision within the same legislative framework as decisions made by officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and may exercise all the powers and discretions conferred on officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The AAT have the power to:

  • affirm (not change) the primary decision
  • vary the primary decision
  • set aside the primary decision and substitute a new decision
  • remit (return) a matter to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for reconsideration with specific directions.

The Migration Act and Regulations specify the decisions that the AAT can review, who may seek review of a decision, how an application for review must be made, the time limits within which applications for review must be lodged, and the application fee payable. These rules may vary depending on the type of decision and whether a person is in immigration detention. The AAT have no power to make exceptions.

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