Visa Refused or Cancelled


Reviewing Migration Decisions

Has your visa been refused/cancelled? or Are you having problems with your visa?


What can I do?

There are a number of ways you can appeal a decision of the Department of Immigration, this process is called a “review”. You can apply for:

  • Merits review by the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT)
  • Merits review by the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT)
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
  • Judicial review Federal Court – If there is an error in the law.
  • Ministerial Intervention – You may request to the Minister for Department of Immigration and Citizenship to personally substitute a favourable decision. To be eligible to apply for this request you must:
    • Have had you case reviewed at the Tribunal level first;
    • Your case must be in the ‘Public Interest’;
    • You must general be holding a Bridging Visa.


What is 'Merits Review'

This means that the decision of a Case Officer may be reviewed on its “merits”, rather than the lawfulness of the decision. In other words the person seeking the review believes the decision of the Case Officer was wrong, not necessarily a breach of their powers under the law.

What is 'Judicial Review'

Unlike “merits review”, this is where a Court looks at the way on which an administrative body or Tribunal exercises its power under the law. The Judicial system in Australia is severely restricted by statute law in hearing migration decision. You may only appeal to the Courts if there is ‘jurisdictional error’ affecting the Tribunals decision.

Time Limits

There are very strict time limits that apply to all reviews, so it’s very important to get legal advice immediately. At the Tribunal you may NOT appeal out of time.

Can all decisions be reviewed by the Tribunals?

No. The Migration Act tells us which decisions can be reviewed. Some of the decisions that can be reviewed (in general) are:

  • some decisions refusing a visa to a person who is already in Australia;
  • refusing a visa to a person who is overseas and has an Australian sponsor;
  • refusing a visitor’s visa to a person who is overseas and has Australian relatives who are referred to in the application;
  • some decisions about the assessment of points.
  • Cancellation of visas of where the person was in Australia when their visa was cancelled.


Immigration Law Matters can provide you with the following services

  • We can do a case study search for you to look at previous or similar cases, and then provide you with relevant advice
  • We can advise on your options for a new application
  • Advise you on your position if you are in Australia and had a visa cancelled (S 48 criteria)
  • Represent you in any review process
  • We will also represent you at the MRT / RRT / AAT and write well researched legal submissions on your behalf.

Why should you choose Immigration Law Matters for your Refugee Application?

Immigration Law Matters is experienced in providing advice and handling review matters in a professional and sensitive manner.

We will advise you of you prospects of success and all the relevant documentation and support witnesses required to win you case.

We will prepare a lengthy legal submission on your behalf and actively research your case with case law. Our main aim for Tribunal Appeals is to have the case ‘decided on the papers’. That is, receiving a favorable decision without you having to attend the hearing.

We have represented many clients and achieved successful outcomes. Some of the difficult cases we have handled include: Bogus Documents, Unlawful Criteria, Failing the Health Requirement , Character Cancellation and Student Visa Cancellations and Refusals.

All of our Professional Fees for review cases and Ministerial Intervention are charged as a lump sum payment. We do NOT charge per hour. Our staff may also be able to see you outside work hours (at no extra cost) if your case is being heard soon.

Feel free to send an email inquiry  / call if you would like discuss ANY  problems that you may have with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Alternatively, you may wish to complete our General Inquiry Form.

All matters are treated with the strictest rules of confidentiality.