Time Limits to Lodge AAT Appeal
Strict time limits apply for lodging an application for merits review by the AAT. Your refusal letter will likely tell you whether you have a right to appeal the decision by the Department of Home Affairs to refuse your visa application and the review period within which you need to apply to the AAT for merits review.
Usually, the application for merits review must be given to the AAT within 21 days after the day when you are taken to have received the Department of Home Affairs’ refusal, although different time limits can apply.
It is possible that you may only seek merits review by the AAT of the decision to refuse if you are physically present in Australia at the time when the application for merits review is made.
The Review Process of the AAT
By seeking merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, you are asking the AAT to consider whether the Department of Home Affairs has made a correct decision or if the Visa Officer may have made an error of law or a procedural error in deciding to refuse your application.
It is important that your AAT appeal, and submission for merits review, contain detailed evidence and strong arguments as to why you believe the decision of the Department of Home Affairs to refuse is incorrect and why the Tribunal should come to a different conclusion taking the facts of your circumstances into account.
Outcome of AAT Review
There are various possible outcomes of a merits review before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. For example, the AAT may agree with the arguments you present in your appeal and remit the application to the Department for reconsideration, with the direction that you met relevant criteria of the visa you applied for.
The expectation in that situation is that the Department of Home Affairs will reverse their prior refusal and grant your visa, and you may be eligible for a refund of 50% of the AAT application fee.
Alternatively, the AAT may uphold the decision of the Department of Home Affairs. With respect to most decisions of the AAT, you can appeal to the Federal Court on a question of law, meaning that you believe the AAT made a mistake or error in law in deciding your case. An appeal to the Federal Court must be made no later than 28 days after receiving the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
If you hold a Bridging visa, it should remain in effect until your case has been finally determined.
Managing Your AAT Appeal
At Tamas Immigration we are well positioned to provide advice and assistance with regard to your appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. What Tamas Immigration will do for you if you want to appeal a decision of the Department of Home Affairs to the AAT include the following:
- Assess the Department’s decision to refuse your application and provide information about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
- Inform you about the documents, information, evidence or arguments that will help your case.
- Guide you in collecting and gathering your evidence and supporting material.
- Prepare and lodge a merits review application with the AAT.
- Work with you in drafting statutory declarations, backed up by evidence, to support your case.
- Undertake research by analysing current case law, interpret legislation such as the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994, as well as review policy documents of the Department that may pertain to your case.
- Draft a detailed submission for lodgement with the AAT in support of your merits review application.
- Attend the hearing before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with you and assist you in presenting and arguing your case.
- Draft further detailed submissions that may be required, before the Tribunal Member reaches a decision.
We will also Provide assistance with Canadian Appeals