Judicial Review for Australian Visa

Judicial Review & Appeals

Applying for an Australian visa doesn’t mean you will necessarily be granted one. No matter how carefully you compile the visa application you may miss something important or misinterpret what was asked of you. In some cases, the refusal may even be a mistake.

Unfortunately, a denied visa will set back your travel plans since you won’t be able to travel to Australia. In some cases, you may not even be eligible for other visas, but you can try to submit a visa appeal for Australia. Whether your visa appeal is accepted depends on several factors, some of which are discussed below in this article.

Why Was My Australia Visa Denied?

A visa application may be denied because of the following reasons:

  • Invalid Passport.Your passport must have been issued during the last ten years and must be valid for at least six months after you return from Australia. In cases where passports don’t meet these criteria, the Immigration Office won’t issue visas.
  • Incomplete Application Form. If you submit an incomplete application form, your visa request will most likely be denied.
  • Character Requirement Failure. Failure to meet the Australia visa character stipulation will result in visa rejection. In case your visa is denied on character grounds, you might not be given another visa.
  • Missing Documents. If you are missing a document that is required for the Australia visa application, then your visa request will be denied.
  • False Information. When applying for an Australian visa, you have to answer all the questions honestly and provide all accurate information. If you are found to have provided false information, your visa request may be denied.
  • Failure to Answer Additional Requests.After you submit a visa application, the Immigration Office may ask you to provide additional documents or information. If you fail to answer these requests, you won’t receive a visa.
  • Lack of Financial Means. If you can’t provide proof that you can support your trip in Australia, you won’t be granted a visa. It’s important to the Immigration Office to know that you are capable of financially supporting yourself.
  • Lack of Health Insurance. In cases where health insurance is mandatory for specific visas (student visas), applicants must provide evidence they have purchased the required insurance. Lack of health insurance will result in visa refusal.

How Do I Appeal a Visa Refusal in Australia?

In case your visa application for Australia is denied follow these steps for a refusal appeal:

  1. Apply at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
  2. Pay the Appeal Fee.

Apply At the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

If your visa request is denied, you have to apply for an appeal at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). You can either apply online at the official website of the AAT or send a paper application; online applications are easier to review. In cases where you have a sponsor/nominator, they can also apply on your behalf.

The time for an appeal is very limited, and you have to send the written request within 28 days after the decision notice. If you miss the deadline, unfortunately, neither the Immigration Office nor AAT has the authority to extend the time limit. If you are in Immigration detention, you have only 7 days to submit your appeal.

It’s important to remember that the appeal time will vary on the grounds of why your visa was rejected and on what type of visa you applied for. The Immigration Office will send a written decision regarding your visa and within the notice, you will have all the information regarding the deadline for appeal on how to appeal a visa refusal.

Pay the Appeal Fee

Most applications require you to pay an additional fee in order to review the request, which is around AUD1,826. You may be eligible for a reduced fee of up to 50% if paying the full fee will cause you extreme financial difficulty.

You have to pay the fee before the deadline for sending an appeal request ends. If you are applying in person, make sure you do so before the timeline ends and pay the fee the same day when you lodge your application. The payment can be made through credit cards, cheques, money orders, and an electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS).

The AAT will refund your fee if there is a negative decision towards your appeal. If there is a positive decision, then you will receive a refund of 50% either for the full fee or reduced fee; the administration will give you a form with bank details so you can receive your refund.

How Do I Know the AAT Received My Appeal Request?

After you lodge your appeal application, the AAT will send you a letter confirming they have received your application. In the letter, there will be additional information regarding what will happen next as they review your request.

What Documents Do I Need to Submit With My Appeal Request?

Usually, you don’t have to submit any additional documents when you send your appeal application. The AAT will contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and let them know a visa appeal request is in process, then the Department will then send over all your relevant documents. There might be cases when the AAT will ask you for additional information but, this may happen after you submitted the application.

How Long Does the Appeal Process Take?

The average processing time for different visas is as follows:


Visa Type

Average Processing Time in Days

Visitor Visa


Student Refusal


Student Cancellation


Family Visa


Temporary Work Visas


Partner Visa


Permanent Business Visa


Bridging Visas


Skilled Work Visas


These are only average estimates, and sometimes it may take longer or less to review a visa appeal application.

Can I Apply Again After My Visa Is Denied?

You can apply for another visa if you are denied a visa initially. However, you may apply for a visa appeal first, and if the grounds for refusal are easily fixable (missing document, miscommunication with the Immigration Office, etc.), then your appeal request will change the refusal decision. If you still don’t receive a visa, you can apply for another one.

On the other hand, if your visa was denied because you failed the character test for Australia, then you may even be banned from applying again for another visa.

What if I Don’t Agree With the AAT Decision?

If you don’t agree with the decision made after your appeal at the AAT, you can apply for a judicial review. This means that the visa decision will be reviewed in a legal court, you may be required to hire a legal attorney to represent your case.

Obligatory Australia Visa Refusal

The Department of Foreign Affairs is legally obligated to refuse a visa application if the applicant is serving a full-time sentence in prison. In addition to this, you will also be denied a visa if you were sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or charged with a sexual crime against a minor no matter if conviction happened or not.