Merits Review

This process involves the review of a decision by Department Of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) officers in relation to a visa refusal or cancellation. The review is conducted by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) MR Division. In reviewing the decision the AAT takes a fresh look at the application but must apply the same law under the Migration Act. The Tribunal is not bound by the DIBP policy in assessing an application, however it does use it as guide on how some criteria may be interpreted.

The AAT if necessary will conduct a hearing to receive information directly from affected persons. However it could make a decision – on paper – and usually this is favourable to applicants without the need of a hearing. It is therefore very important to get the right assistance navigating through this important process. The AAT does not grant visas and in cases where it finds in favor of the applicant it sends the application back to the department for reconsideration with the direction that the disputed or sometimes all the criteria of a visa are met.

There are some exceptions where a tribunal decision is final, for example when reviewing a visa cancellation, if it finds in favor of an applicant it will make the decision that the visa should not have been cancels and the consequences of that is that, effective immediately, the visa is reinstated. Other examples is when employers are refused approvals as sponsors or a nomination by an employer is refused a positive finding by the AAT would mean that the sponsorship or nominations are approved.

When the Tribunal finds that the DIBP decision is correct and it should stand, it affirms the decision. It is possible for the AAT to affirm a decision to refuse or cancel a visa on a different criteria than what the decision maker have found not to be met in the first instance.

At CK Migration you will have access to superior legal advice in relation to your migration decision. We have assisted many people with the review of an an adverse decision by the department of immigration at the AAT. For more information on how we can assist in relation to a visa refusal or cancellation please contact us and an expert in the field will get in touch with you the soonest.