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Administrative Appeals get busier with review work

We are now entering a period of further significant changes to Australian immigration requirements which include a yet to be implemented skilled worker visa (TSS) as well as the changes to employer sponsored permanent residence (ENS).

Changes to immigration requirements have historically resulted in an increased number of refusals of applications. Reasons for refusal of an application may be superficial, for example, failing to provide a document at the time of lodging an application. Other reasons include stricter as well as broader interpretation and enforcement of regulations, increased scrutiny by case officers or unfair and harsh interpretation of the policy.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

AAT has the power to:

  • affirm (not change) the primary decision

  • vary the primary decision

  • set aside the primary decision and substitute a new decision

  • remit (return) a matter to Department of Home Affairs for reconsideration with specific directions.

You may be entitled to a Bridging Visa and remain in Australia during process of your case which is another advantage. In most circumstances, there is a 21-day time limit to apply for a review, accordingly, you should ensure that a refusal is addressed as quickly as possible.

Further to our article published on 08 February 2018, AAT has released recent statics for lodged cases at hand and these numbers also include the first round of cases to be processed following significant reforms to abolish subclass 457 visa announced by the Government on 18 April 2017.

Latest Facts and Figures

According to the latest report “Administrative Appeals Tribunal Migration and Refugee Division Case Load Report” available on AAT’s website, migration lodgements increased by 35% compared to the same period last year. Most lodgements were seen in November 2017 which are likely to be those assessed under the new regulations introduced in April last year.

Student visas as well as temporary work visas take the top five categories of all lodged migration cases. Approximately 36% of student visa cases are finalised within 365 days. Over 56% of skilled worker visas are finalised within the same period.

There are some speedy decisions made by the AAT which includes finalisation of Bridging Visa applications with a median processing of 11 days.

Given the significant increase in the cases appearing before the AAT, it is important to adhere to any imposed deadlines including:

  • lodging your application for a review

  • providing relevant information post lodgement as quickly as possible as the case may decided in your favour based on this evidence without the need to attend the hearing

  • attending the hearing on receiving an invitation to attend

Whilst there are several resources available to prepare your case for an appeal, generally it is worthwhile understand the reasons why the original application was refused by DOHA. The process is not quite as simple as it may first appear given that most refusal records quote copious pages of legislation without much of an explanatory statement. Accordingly, it may be worthwhile seeking a professional assistance to ensure that all issues are identified and can be addressed during the review process including any Policy guidelines. Our experienced team at SCA Connect can assist you in lodging a strong appeal application for merits review to AAT to accomplish your migration goal.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.

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