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AAT Review

AAT Decisions can be made by –

The AAT can review decisions made under more than 400 Commonwealth Acts and legislative instruments. The AAT is unable to review all decisions, only those where the law specifically states that we can.

We most commonly review decisions relating to:

  • Child support
  • Commonwealth workers’ compensation
  • Family assistance, paid parental leave, social security and student assistance
  • Migration and refugee visas and visa-related decisions
  • Taxation
  • Veterans’ entitlements
  • Australian citizenship
  • Bankruptcy
  • Corporations and financial services regulation
  • Freedom of information
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme

The AAT is independent of the person or department that made the original decision. We undertake a merits review which involves taking a fresh look at the facts, law and policy relating to that decision. Decisions are made by members appointed by the Governor-General. In most cases, the AAT can look at new information that was not available to the original decision-maker. We consider all the information before us and decide what the legally correct decision is or if there can be more than one correct decision, the preferable decision

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 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.
You MAY qualify for a bridging visa upon lodgment 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.


PIC 4020 enables refusal of a visa if an applicant provides a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to their application, or if the Minister is not satisfied of an applicant’s identity.
If PIC 4020 is part of the criteria for the particular visa you have applied for you must satisfy PIC 4020 in order to be granted your visa.


A re-entry ban, also known as an exclusion period, means a person may not be permitted to return to Australia for up to three years. A re-entry ban may be imposed when a person breaches their visa conditions.

A re-entry ban will apply, if:

  • You overstay your visa by more than 28 days
  • Your visa is cancelled because:
    • You provided false documents or false information to the Department of Home Affairs
    • You are considered to be a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community
    • You are convicted of an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, or a law of an Australian state or territory
    • You are found to have breached a visa condition, for example, you worked when your visa had a no work condition
    • You hold a student visa but have failed to maintain appropriate enrolment, breached another visa condition, or have been found not to be a genuine student
    • You hold a visitor visa but were found not to be in Australia as a genuine visitor.

Does the re-entry ban apply to all visas?

No. Re-entry bans are mostly imposed on applications for temporary visas. The ban does not prevent you from seeking a permanent visa, though the Department may consider your immigration history when making future immigration decisions.

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AAT Review

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