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Student visa refusal

Understanding a student visa refusal in Australia

Student visas are temporary visas specifically designed to allow students to engage in an eligible course of study in Australia. Depending on individual circumstances, a Student visa can be granted or refused. Employing the help of a Migration lawyer can assist in reducing the chance of a refusal and obtaining a visa.

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Reasons for a student visa refusal

Student visas may be refused on the basis of: 

  • Failure to enrol in a course and/or provide evidence of enrolment 
  • Failure to provide evidence of welfare arrangements 
  • Failure to meet English language requirements 
  • Failure to have adequate health insurance 
  • Failure to demonstrate you are a genuine temporary entrant 
  • Character grounds 
  • Immigration history

How to address a student visa refusal

The nature of addressing a refusal is a much more complex process than applying for a visa. As such, it is important  for visa applicants to understand the individual circumstances surrounding their refusal and take appropriate steps to effectively resolve the underlying issues. Therefore, seeking professional advice from migration lawyers who are proficient in migration law is strongly advised. 

Dealing with a visa refusal depends on the individual's specific situation, the grounds for the refusal, and the type of visa being sought. In some cases, a refusal can be reviewed at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)'s Migration and Refugee Division where a tribunal member assesses the Department's decision to determine if it was the correct one. In limited circumstances, individuals may choose to further appeal an AAT decision to the Federal Court for judicial review if the AAT has made a legal error. It's essential to emphasize that appeals are subject to strict time limits and so it is imperative to act quickly when a notice of refusal is received.

How to avoid a student visa refusal

Visa applications are a complex process and require a long waiting period for a decision and so it is important to ensure that:

  • All legal criteria for the visa is met 
  • All the relevant documents are the student visa application are provided 

Consequences of a student visa refusal

In most cases, a refusal means that you will not be able to obtain the visa you applied for and thus a rejection of your entry into the country. If you effectively address a refusal by way of a successful visa appeal or by submitting a new visa application, you may be compelled to leave Australia.

Outcomes of a student visa refusal

In the event of a successful visa appeal, the Department of Home Affairs is inclined to approve the applicant's visa. Conversely, if an appeal at the AAT proves unsuccessful, there is a possible recourse for challenging the decision in the Federal Circuit Court, albeit subject to limited circumstances and specific criteria. When pursuing a Federal Court appeal is not a viable choice, visa applicants must arrange to leave Australia if they are currently within the country or refrain from entering if they are outside Australia.

Benefits of using an immigration lawyer

Australian Migration Lawyers is composed of a highly proficient team well-versed in immigration law which includes complex cases involving student visa refusals. Our primary objective is to facilitate access to justice, a commitment we uphold by providing assistance to individuals who entrust us with their visa refusal concerns.

  • Our team at Australian Migration Lawyers consists of Australian lawyers who possess a profound understanding of Australian migration law. This enables us to offer comprehensive support throughout the appeals process.
  • Furthermore, we offer guidance on various migration options and strategies available to you.
  • As legal professionals, we bear the responsibility of ensuring that your application fully aligns with all requirements, naturally increasing the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
  • From the initial stages to the culmination of your application, we are here to support you every step of the way of the appeal process. This includes working closely with you to address any additional requests made by the Tribunal or Court.

Student visa refusal costs

Our professional 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 visa appeal. We offer payment plans based on different financial needs to provide flexibility for our clients. 

Fees in relation to Tribunal and Court appeals vary depending on the options available for a visa refusal in your particular circumstances.

Visa refusal process

Navigating a visa refusal can be complex. With help from an Australian Migration Lawyer, we can untangle this complexity, and help you with the next steps.

1. Consultation and engagement

2. Preparation and support

3. Submission and communication

4. Representation and outcome

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Meet your Australian Migration Lawyer

We’re a diverse team of professionals with decades of combined experience. We care about your situation and will make sure you always get the support and advice you need.

Australia-wide services

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.

Frequently asked questions

Read our most commonly asked questions about student visa refusals:

Can I appeal a refusal if I made an application overseas?

Individuals who applied for student visas offshore are not entitled to rights to appeal the refusal decision to the AAT.

Can not having sufficient funds lead to a refusal?

Starting on October 1, 2023, student visa applicants will be required to demonstrate they possess a minimum of AU$24,505 in savings to meet their annual living costs in order to meet the financial capacity requirement. Failure to provide evidence of this may lead to a refusal.

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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