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Visa appeals and cancellations

Navigate the Australian visa appeal process

When the Department refuses your visa, you may have options to challenge this decision through a merits review at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or a judicial review in court.  Australian Migration Lawyers have experience in over 1,000 appeal matters.

Contact us to discuss your case and explore how we can get your visa application back on track.

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Types of visa appeals & cancellations in Australia

There are two types of appeals that relate to visa refusals. The appropriate appeal will depend on your individual circumstances. AML can assist with both types of appeal.

A visa refusal is a decision made by the Department of Home Affairs by which an applicant’s submission to enter or stay in Australia is rejected.

A visa cancellation is a formal termination of a previously approved and valid visa. It means that a visa that has been granted has been cancelled and no longer holds visa status.

This is an informal hearing in which a Tribunal member will hear the facts, law and policy surrounding the Department’s decision and make the most correct and preferable decision. 

This is a formal hearing in which a judge hears a matter appealed from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and determines whether an error of law has been made. The Court is independent of the makers of the decisions it reviews.

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Our step-by-step visa appeal process

Visa refusals can be overwhelming. Our experienced team will guide you through each step, from initial consultation to representation at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or in court.

1. Consultation and engagement

2. Preparation and support

3. Submission and communication

4. Representation and outcome

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Why choose an immigration lawyer for your visa appeal?

The Australian Migration Lawyers team is comprised of skilled immigration lawyers with a wealth of experience. We are well-versed in handling appeals and matters of high complexity. One of our primary objectives is to broaden access to justice and commit to upholding the interests of every client that we represent who engages with us regarding their visa refusal. 

At Australian Migration Lawyers, our team includes qualified Australian lawyers who draw upon their comprehensive knowledge of Australian laws and legal precedents to offer guidance during the visa refusal appeal process. We also provide advice on other available migration options and strategies.

As migration lawyers, our support extends from aiding in application preparation to the final decision, including close collaboration with you to address any additional requests made by the Tribunal or Court.

Understanding visa appeal requirements

Not every visa refusal is eligible for an appeal. It's important to first check if your case qualifies for a review and then follow these steps if an appeal is possible:

  • Ensure that an appeal application is made within the specified time frame as Tribunals and Courts can have strict time limits
  • Complete an application form
  • Pay the application fee
  • Get a copy of the file from the Department 
  • Prepare evidence and submissions to the Tribunal or Court

Costs of visa appeals in Australia

 There are two main costs associated with appeals:

Professional fees 

Our fees will vary depending on the circumstances of your application. Some applications will be more complex than others and our fees will be quoted accordingly. We work on a fixed-fee basis rather than billing hourly to provide our clients with certainty about the total costs associated with their appeal. We can offer payment plans based on different financial needs to provide flexibility for our clients. 

Book a free consultation with one of our qualified lawyers to get a quote.

Tribunal/Court fees 

Application fees at the Tribunal and Court vary depending on the type of application. Payment can be made using EFTPOS, debit/credit card or cheque.

Visa appeal timelines: What to expect

The time it takes for you to receive a decision will depend on whether an appeal was made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or to the Federal Circuit and Family Court.  The Tribunal may gives its decision in as little as 1 to 14 days while it is not uncommon to wait for 3 to 12 months for Federal Circuit and Family Court decisions.

Frequently asked questions

Read our most commonly asked questions about visa appeals:

What happens if my appeal is unsuccessful?

If an appeal at the tribunal is unsuccessful, there may be grounds to appeal to the Federal Circuit and Family Court. If an appeal is unsuccessful in a Court, you may apply for ministerial intervention where the Minister may intervene and grant a visa even if you do not meet all the visa requirements if it is in the public interest to do so.

Can I present new evidence to the Tribunal/Court?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal may hear new evidence as the Member will hear the matter afresh to assess whether the Department’s decision was the most correct and preferable. A judge in a court hearing will not assess new evidence brought before them but rather assess whether the decision and the process of reaching a decision was so according to law.

Is going to Court more costly?

Going to Court is generally more costly because you will be required to pay the costs of having a barrister represent you in Court as well as solicitor costs associated with briefing the barrister as well as Court fees.

Meet your Australian Migration Lawyer

With decades of experience, our professional and compassionate team are on hand to guide you through each stage of the partner visa application process. We understand that this can be an exciting but also stressful process for you and your family, and we strive to make it as seamless and straightforward as possible. We will work closely with you to ensure your application meets all legislative requirements to give you the best possible chance of being granted your visa.

We support the LGBTIQ+ community across Australia

Nationwide support: Our locations across Australia

We offer professional migration advice and support, no matter where you are based. Those located in Australia have the choice of meeting with us at one of our offices or online, and for those offshore, we are available to you online.

About the content author

Perry Q Wood
Partner - Principal Migration Lawyer

Perry Q Wood is National President of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law and one of Australia’s leading administrative and migration lawyers. To date, he has been involved in 1,000+ migration and refugee matters.

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