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How much does it cost to appeal a visa refusal?

Australian Migration Lawyer
February 11, 2024
9
minute read

Facing a visa refusal decision can be a daunting and distressing experience. However, it is important to know that there is a path to challenge such decisions in Australia. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) offers a lifeline through its independent merits review process.

Before embarking on the journey of appealing a visa refusal, one of the initial concerns that may occupy your thoughts is the associated costs. To provide clarity and transparency, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the types of decisions that can be reviewed by the AAT, along with the AAT fees. Understanding these crucial details can help you make an informed decision about pursuing a visa appeal and navigating the path towards achieving your visa goals.

AAT decision review types

The AAT can review some, but not all, decisions about visas. There are three main types of visa-related decisions that can be reviewed by the AAT

1.Migration decisions

The AAT can review decisions made under Migration Act 1958:

  • To refuse or cancel different types of visas
  • To refuse a nomination of an occupation, activity or position
  • To bar, refuse, or cancel the approval of a sponsor
  • Relating to requiring a security 

The AAT cannot review:

  • A decision to cancel a visa made personally by the Minister for Home Affairs or Minister for Immigration
  • A decision if you are not entitled to apply for a review. The decision letter will tell you whether you are eligible to apply for a review

AAT Fees:

  • You must pay an application fee of AUD $3,374 before the deadline for lodging the application
  • There is no application fee if you appeal a bridging visa decision that resulted in a person being placed in immigration detention
  • You may be eligible for a reduced fee by 50% if the AAT satisfies that paying the fee would cause you severe financial hardship

Refund:

  • If your application is found invalid, AAT will refund 100% of the application fee
  • If your are eligible for reduced fee, AAT will refund 50% of the application fee
  • If the review is decided in your favour, AAT will refund 50% of the reduced fee amount or 50% of the full fee you paid

2.Refugee decisions

The AAT can review decisions made under the Migration Act 1958 to refuse or cancel protection visas.

The AAT cannot review:

  • A decision to cancel a visa made personally by the Minister of Home Affairs or Minister for Immigration
  • A decision to refuse a protection visa that can be reviewed by the Immigration Assessment Authority

AAT Fees:

  • You do not have to pay an application fee at the time of lodging your application for a review
  • However, you must pay a fee of AUD $2,076 if the review is not successful

3.Character-related and other visa decisions

The AAT can review decisions made under the Migration Act 1958:

  • To refuse or cancel any type of visa, including protection visa, on character grounds under section 501
  • To not revoke the mandatory cancellation of your visa on character grounds under section 501CA
  • To refuse a protection visa on character grounds relying on sections 5H(2), 36(1C) or 36(2C)
  • To cancel a business visa under section 134

The AAT cannot review:

  • A decision under section 501 or 501CA made by the Minister personally
  • Review the mandatory cancellation of a visa under section 501(3A) of the Migration Act

AAT Fees:

  • You must pay the application fee of AUD $1,082 at the time you lodge the application
  • You may get a reduced fee of AUD $100 in limited circumstances where:
    -Legal aid has been granted for the review
    -You hold a health care card, pensioner concession card, Commonwealth seniors health card, or other card that certifies entitlement to Commonwealth health concessions
    -You are in prison, immigration detention, or otherwise detained in a public institution
    -You are under 18 years of age
    -You receive Youth Allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY Centrelink payments
    -You are considered to suffer financial hardship if you have to pay application fee

Refund:

  • If you were not required to pay application fee, AAT will refund fully
  • If AAT decide you can pay reduced fee, AAT will refund the difference between the fee you paid and AUD100
  • If the review is decided in your favour, AAT will refund the difference between the fee you paid and AUD100

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Book consultation

If you are interested in getting more information about a visa, get in touch with Australian Migration Lawyers for a consultation.

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How to pay the AAT fees

To pay for AAT fees, you can pay by cash or  use electronic funds transfer including EFTPOS, credit card (MasterCard and Visa), cheque, or money order. 

Please note that AAT fees are subject to change, so it is crucial to check AAT website frequently or consult with a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer for the most current information and update.

Additionally, if you are planning to appeal a visa refusal, it is important to consider seeking professional advice as the process can be complex and the outcome can significantly impact your immigration status in Australia. 

Further, there are strict time limits associated with applying for a visa appeal. In certain cases, particularly those related to character ground, these limits can be exceedingly short. Therefore, it is imperative to take prompt and decisive action, seeking professional assistance as soon as possible to ensure that your appeal is submitted within the stipulated time frame. Procrastination in such matters could, unfortunately, extinguish the chance to challenge an adverse decision and you may have to leave Australia.

Australian Migration Lawyers, equipped with a team of highly qualified migration lawyers, stands ready to provide you with expert guidance and support throughout the visa appeal process at any stage. Our wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge in immigration matters ensures that you receive the best possible advice and representation. We understand the complexities and challenges that can arise during visa appeals, and we are committed to helping you navigate this intricate journey with confidence. Whether you are seeking to overturn a visa refusal, clarify your visa status, or explore alternative visa options, our dedicated team is here to advocate for your immigration needs, attend your AAT hearing and assist you in achieving a favorable outcome.

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