Individuals who apply for a visa to Australia may have their applications refused or denied due to a number of reasons. In case your visa is cancelled or denied, you will have to approach the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) for a review of the decision. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal does not review all decisions. For instance, the decision to cancel or deny visas is made personally by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection under Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958. Individuals are not allowed to apply for a review of decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Starting from the 1st of July 2015, the sole merits review tribunal in the county (the Administrative Appeals Tribunal) is the only tribunal that has the right to decide whether or not an applicant is eligible for the visa, after which the applicant can request the Minister to consider their case. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is an independent organisation responsible for reviewing decisions made by the government. Within the tribunal, there are different specialist offices that are responsible for reviewing certain kinds of government decisions.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal reviews departmental decisions and following are the divisions within the tribunal that deal with the various decisions made by the government.
- General Division: The General Division is responsible for reviewing decisions associated with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority, citizenship matters, and character matters (including under Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 and Articles 1F, 32 or 33 of the Refugees Convention).
- Migration and Refugee Division: The Migration and Refugee Division is responsible for reviewing decisions associated with most refugee and migration visa denials (including denial of nomination or sponsorship) and cancellation of visas.
- Immigration Assessment Authority: The Immigration Assessment Authority is an independent office within the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Migration and Refugee Division and it is responsible for reviewing fast track reviewable decisions associated with specific Protection visa decisions.
In case your visa application was affected due to a decision that can be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in the Migration and Refugee Division or the General Division, and you wish to have the decision reviewed, you will have to lodge an application within the legislatively recommended time period specified in your decision notification letter. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is not at liberty to extend the time to review your application if you do not lodge the application on time.
It is important to note that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal cannot review all decisions. For instance, applications cannot be made for the review of a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in case the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has personally made the decision to deny or refuse your visa under Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958.
How to Make a Better Visa Application
In order to ensure that your visa application is not refused or denied, you will have to ensure that you provide the authorities with your proof of income along with a bank statement that shows that you have sufficient finances to deal with expenditure when abroad. Students who undertake educational / academic courses in Australia are generally required by the Immigration Department to have a yearly average of AU$18,000. The Immigration Department will only consider income and not possessions like general properties, homes, cars or boats. In case you do not possess the required income to apply, you can nominate a sponsor like your mother, father or grandparents and said sponsor will have to send a letter to the Immigration Department confirming that they take up financial responsibility for your expenses. The sponsor will also have to provide a proof regarding the availability of the required income.
When you apply for an Australian visa, make sure to fill in all the details with clear and legible letters. Step-by-step instructions must be followed and all the questions in the application must be answered correctly. Also make sure to go through the checklist and get a clear idea of which documents must be annexed. Exercising care when filling in the application form can go a long way towards gaining your visa.