Have you had your visa refused and received a Notice of Intention to Refuse Your Visa, Sponsorship or Nomination from the Department of Home Affairs? Are you wondering if you can submit a visa appeal? With over 30 years of experience, Interstaff is regularly called upon to assist with complex Australian migration matters requiring a visa appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Our team specialise in assisting with visa refusal Australia cases and helping people to appeal decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs. We also assist with nomination and sponsorship cancellation appeals.
Our Registered Migration Agents servicing Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are very experienced in assisting with complex migration issues. We can also recommend the services of Immigration Lawyers if court proceedings are required. We understand having your visa refused can raise a lot of questions, so we’ve provided some answers to common visa refusal Australia concerns. However, because the circumstances for a visa appeal are different for each case, we do recommend seeking professional advice if you’d like to proceed with a visa appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
If you received a notice that your visa may be refused, the letter will usually advise if an application to review the decision can be made and if an appeal can be lodged with the AAT. Unfortunately, not everyone may be able to make a visa appeal. Your options to appeal the Department of Home Affairs’ visa refusal decision depend on whether your application meets several factors outlined in Australia’s migration legislation. This requires a detailed assessment, which can be a difficult task if you do not fully understand how Australian migration law applies to your case. That’s why it helps to have an experienced migration agent assess your circumstances to determine if you can and should appeal the visa decision.
After advising your visa may be refused, the Department of Home Affairs requires you to act quickly if you are interested in appealing the visa decision. You will need to do so within the time frame noted on your Department of Home Affairs decision notification letter to avoid legally having to return to your home country. Strict time limits apply in some cases. For example, if you are in Australia and applying for a review of the cancellation of your visa on character grounds under section 501 of The Migration Act 1958, you may be required to lodge an application within 9 days of being notified of the decision. An experienced migration agent can provide you with the direction to move forward with your visa appeal within the time frame.
It is worth noting that a refusal of your visa may prohibit you from applying for or being granted certain visas, and therefore affect your current and future plans to travel to, enter or stay in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs considers a visa refusal to be a serious matter and as a result, your further visa options may be limited – so you may wish to seek professional advice.
There are many possible reasons why you could have your visa refused. Without a solid grasp of the visa process and requirements, it is easy to make mistakes, errors or misjudgements in your application without even realising it. Usually, your refusal notice from the Department of Home Affairs will provide a brief explanation as to why your visa was/is being refused. You may still however be unclear on what may have led the Department to reach their decision. These are very important pieces of information when considering a visa appeal. An assessment of your application by an experienced migration agent can help you understand why the Department is refusing your visa, whether you can appeal the decision, and whether you could provide other evidence to support your claims.
One reason why a visa could be refused could be due to a breach or failure to meet your visa conditions or requirements. Information may have led the Department to believe you have not met the visa conditions or character requirements. Any incorrect or false claims could also lead to a visa refusal. Other common reasons are paying for your visa sponsorship (in cases where this is not permitted), changes to your study – such as early completion of your registered course, failing to declare or provide misleading information about goods that may cause biosecurity issues, and importing goods and materials such as drugs. There could also be a number of circumstances that have come to light and caused the Department to question your genuineness. If you receive a Notice of Intent to Refuse your visa, you may wish to see professional advice from a migration agent that is experienced in visa refusal Australia matters.
If you would like to appeal a visa decision, and the nature of your visa refusal allows you to make an appeal, you would usually need to go through the Merits Review process with the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT may have the power to review the decision on your visa. They have the jurisdiction to review specific decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs under The Migration Act 1958, including decisions to cancel different types of visas and bar or cancel the approval of a sponsor.
When you submit a visa appeal to review the decision to have your visa refused, the AAT’s Merits Review process involves an assessment of your application according to Australia’s migration legislation (specifically The Migration Act 1958 and The Migration Regulations). Because the Administrative Appeals Tribunal reviews your application under the same laws referred to by the Department of Home Affairs, you will need to have enough evidence to demonstrate to the AAT that you meet the conditions and requirements of your visa. This requires careful consideration to ensure you are putting forward a strong case for an appeal to challenge the decision to have your visa refused.
As part of the Merits Review process, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will assess the documents you provided for your original application to the Department. They will review the given facts and laws relating to the decision to make an independent assessment on whether your visa should be refused. The AAT aims to examine the evidence, law and policy to arrive at their own decision on whether your visa should be refused based on their assessment of what is legally correct and reasonable. During the process, the AAT may ask you to comment on the information provided and they may ask for further information. A registered migration agent can be engaged to provide written submissions and evidence on your behalf.
Following this, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal may believe they have enough information to decide on your case. If not, they may invite you to present your argument at a hearing. A migration agent can also help you to prepare for this part of the process if required.
Once your application has been reviewed, the AAT will either affirm or change the visa decision made by the Department or return your application to the Department to be reconsidered with specific directions. The AAT could also choose to set aside a decision, which means they agree or partially agree that the original decision to cancel your visa was incorrect. They could then either proceed with replacing the Department’s decision or send the matter back to the Department to be reconsidered with their instructions or recommendations.
If your visa appeal is unsuccessful, you may have two further options – an Application to Federal Court or an Application for Ministerial Intervention. An Application for Ministerial Intervention involves requesting the Minister to review your case if you have very strong reasons for a further visa appeal. Interstaff’s registered migration agents can assist with Ministerial Intervention cases if required. An application to Federal Court is usually done in limited cases if the AAT has made a legal error.
Refused visas and the visa appeal process require meticulous attention to detail and a solid understanding of how Australia’s migration laws apply so you can put forward a strong case for review. We understand it can be very stressful to have your future in Australia hanging in the balance, not to mention a time limit to prepare your appeal.
If you have a complex case such as a visa refusal, health and character matters or if you require a Ministerial Intervention, it can be difficult to know when you may need a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer in Perth. Many people assume they need an immigration lawyer without knowing the difference between the two. Migration agents and immigration lawyers can help you in very different ways. It’s important to know which visa circumstances will require a migration agent or immigration lawyer.
In Australia, migration agents require registration by the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) to provide advice on migration matters that do not need court proceedings. Both migration agents and immigration lawyers are qualified to advise on how The Migration Act 1958 applies to your circumstances.
The key difference is immigration lawyers can assist with court matters, therefore it is worth considering if your case requires representation in court. If your matter will be reviewed through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or Ministerial Interventions process, your case may not require legal representation and you may wish to seek the advice of an experienced migration agent. If you are unsure, our registered migration agents can review your case and advise if you will need the services of an immigration lawyer for your case. In many cases, court representation is only required if your options for a Merits Review (such as applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal) have already been exhausted. Read our case study to understand how we assist with the visa appeal process.
Have you had your visa refused and are you concerned about being able to stay in Australia? Our migration agents provide advice on how you can present your evidence in a way that meets the requirements of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We begin by assessing the visa refusal notice, your submitted application, and your circumstances during consultation and then advise whether you should appeal the Department’s decision and discuss a strategy for how you should prepare your evidence to the AAT.
Interstaff has over 30 years of experience helping individuals, businesses and families to achieve visa and migration solutions. We are known in the industry for our strategic ability to assist with complex cases such as visa refusal and visa cancellation appeals. Challenging a decision made by the Department of Home Affairs isn’t easy, but our team has done so successfully countless times.
If you are looking for a migration agent with visa refusal Australia experience, we would be happy to assist you. The first step is to contact us on 08 9221 3388 (Perth) 02 7200 2567 (Sydney) 03 8319 0902 (Melbourne) or +61 8 9221 3388 (International) to arrange a consultation. A Complex Case consultation will enable us to conduct a detailed assessment of your case. Interstaff are dedicated to being an ethical and responsible migration agency. We will advise with honesty and integrity if we believe you have a case for appeal.
“Thank you very much for all your effort, hard work, professionalism and your positive approach to our extremely difficult case. Nathan and I will be forever grateful for all your help.”
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