We have extensive experience in acting for our clients who are facing visa refusal and cancellations to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). We also assist to contest or review visa cancellations.
- The role of the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT is to review decisions made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). The AAT have the power to affirm, vary or set aside DIBP’s decision, or to return the matter to DIBP for reconsideration with specific directions. The AAT is able to consider a wide range of visa-related decisions, including refusals and cancellations. Decisions are based on the merits of each particular case.
- Your application for review MUST be lodged with the AAT within the required time frame. The letter that you receive from DIBP regarding the decision to refuse or cancel your visa will refer to the exact time frame within which you must lodge your review application, should you take this step. In most cases the relevant time frame for application is 21 days from the date of a decision to refuse a visa application, and 7 days from the date of a decision to cancel your visa.
The AAT can decide to:
- Affirm DIBP’s decision, meaning that is agrees with DIBP’s decision and it will not be changed;
- Set aside DIBP’s decision, meaning that the decision will be changed. In this situation, the AAT has the option of substituting DIBP’s decision with a new decision or returning the matter to DIBP for reconsideration (see below).
- Remit DIBP’s decision, meaning that the matter will be returned to DIBP for reconsideration. The AAT may then give DIBP directions that it must take into account when reconsidering its decision.
- You MAY qualify for a bridging visa upon lodgement of your review application. The type of bridging visa that you qualify for (if any), along with the conditions of that visa, will depend upon your circumstances at the time that you lodged the visa application that is under review (if the review relates to a refusal decision).
- Please note that it may take up to several months for the AAT to complete its assessment of your application and make a decision, depending upon the amount of material that it must consider, and the complexity of your case.
- Any type of visa (permanent or temporary) may be cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) if you do not pass the “character test”. The character test is defined in section 501(6) of the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act). Applications for a visa can also be refused if you do not pass the character test.
- You will not pass the character test if you:
- Have a “substantial criminal record” or have an association with an individual, group or organisation which is suspected of being involved in criminal conduct; or are not of good character having regard to your past and present criminal or general conduct; or are at significant risk of engaging in future, unacceptable conduct.
What happens if my visa is cancelled?
- If your visa is cancelled, you cannot remain in Australia unless you get another type of visa.
- You cannot apply for any other visa except a protection (refugee) visa or a bridging visa.
- Once you have finished your prison sentence, you will be removed from Australia and returned to the country of which you are a citizen. Most of the time this is the place you were born.
- After you have been removed from Australia you will never be able to return.