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Visitor visa refusal in Australia

Overview of visitor visa refusal

Visitor visas are a temporary visa that allow individuals to come to Australia for holidaying, visiting family and friends and business purposes. Given the stringent nature of the Australian immigration process, it is crucial to ensure that all necessary supporting documents are included with visa applications and to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. Failing to include or accurately provide adequate evidence can lead to a visa refusal. 

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Reasons for a visitor visa refusal

The most common reasons for a visitor visa refusal are: 

  • Failure to demonstrate the visa applicant is a genuine temporary entrant 
  • Failure to demonstrate adequate funds to support your stay
  • The visa applicant is from a high-risk country 
  • Failure to meet health requirements 
  • Failure to meet character requirements 

How to address a visitor visa refusal

Dealing with refusals can be stressful for many individuals. To effectively handle such situations, it's vital for visa applicants to comprehensively understand the reasons behind their refusal and take appropriate steps to address the underlying issues. Therefore, legal assistance from an immigration lawyer who is well-versed in migration law is recommended when facing refusal.

The specific course of action to tackle a refusal depends on an individual's unique circumstances, the grounds for the refusal, and the type of visa they had applied for. In some cases, refusals can be subject to review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), where a tribunal member reviews the Department's refusal decision and determines whether the refusal was correct. Additionally, there may be a possibility to further appeal an AAT decision to the Federal Circuit Court for judicial review if the AAT has made a legal error. It is crucial to note that there are strict time limits associated with these appeals and thus acting quickly upon receiving refusal notice is essential.

How to avoid a visitor visa refusal

Given the time-consuming nature of visa applications and the wait time for their outcomes, it is imperative that:

  • All eligibility requirements for a Visitor visa are met 
  • All relevant and required documents are included in the Visitor visa application
  • A complete and correct application is lodged  

Consequences of a visitor visa refusal

Typically, a refusal implies that you are not granted the visa you applied for, meaning a denial of entry into the country if you are outside of Australia. If you fail to appropriately handle a refusal, whether by way of a successful Visitor visa refusal appeal or by submitting a new application for the same or a different visa, it could result in your exclusion from the country and potentially being banned for a certain duration.

Outcomes of a visitor visa refusal

If a visa appeal is successful, the Department of Home Affairs will likely grant the applicant's visa. On the other hand, if an appeal at the AAT is unsuccessful, there is a potential avenue for appealing the decision in the Federal Circuit Court, albeit under restricted circumstances and under a specific criteria. In situations where pursuing a Federal Court appeal is not a feasible option, visa applicants must make arrangements to depart Australia if they are within the country or abstain from entering if they are outside Australia.

Benefits of using an immigration lawyer

Australian Migration Lawyers is composed of a professional team who are skilled in immigration law. We are highly experienced in handling all types of visas, even those of intricate complexity. One of our primary aims is to provide services to facilitate access to justice, a commitment we uphold by assisting individuals who entrust us with their visa refusal matter.

  • Our team at Australian Migration Lawyers comprises of Australian lawyers who possess a deep understanding of Australian laws and the Australian government to provide comprehensive assistance throughout the appeal process.
  • We also offer guidance on a wide array of migration options and strategies available to you.
  • As legal professionals, we bear the responsibility of ensuring that your application fully complies with all requirements, thus naturally increasing the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
  • We are here to assist you in preparing your application from start to finish, including collaborating with you to address any additional requests made by the Tribunal.

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

Fees in relation to Tribunal and Court appeals depend 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 visitor visa refusals:

What is considered a high risk country?

The term ‘high risk country’ refers to countries that have been deemed as having a high rate of visitors overstaying. Such countries include India, Pakistan and Nepal.

What is considered adequate funds?

Case officers will assess what activities the applicant intends to partake in and accommodation arrangements while in Australia when determining whether the applicant has sufficient funds.

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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