Visa Cancellation or Refusal Review at the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT)

Complete case preparation and presentation for a second chance at your Australian visa

Has your visa application been refused? Has your visa been cancelled? You may have another opportunity to present your case and get your visa.

The Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) (now the AAT) is an independent review body that reviews decisions made by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), especially visa refusal and cancellation decisions. If you have had a visa application refused and wish to have that decision reviewed (appealed), the MRT offers an opportunity to have that negative decision reviewed and, potentially, reversed.

Note: If your visa that was refused or cancelled is a protection or refugee visa, please visit our Refugee Review Tribunal page.

The AAT represents a “last chance” opportunity for visa applicants and holders of cancelled visas to have an independent review of their case based on the merits of the case. Further review after the AAT is available from the courts, however the courts cannot review the merits of the case; they can only determine if a mistake was made in the process of refusal or cancellation. And unlike the courts, at the MRT you can introduce new evidence to support your visa application or argue against cancellation – the AAT review is essentially a completely new review of your case, and offers an excellent opportunity to remedy any problems in your original application.

The most common reasons why visas are refused or cancelled

The Australian visa application process is very complex, and the rules and requirements for visas change often. Most visa problems are based on the applicant’s lack of knowledge about the Australian visa system, or a mistaken belief that the Australian visa system is flexible – it is not. In fact, most visa application refusals can be traced back to on one or more of the following common problems:

  • incomplete or inaccurate applications
  • lack of proper supporting documentation
  • poorly prepared applications and documents which do not meet the legislative requirements for the visa being requested
  • poor quality supporting materials that cause DIAC to believe the visa applicant’s request is not sincere or genuine
  • poor advice from unregistered or inexperienced advisors


The AAT: A New Opportunity To Present Your Case
The AAT offers visa applicants a chance to address whatever problems caused the visa refusal, but applicants only get one chance for a AAT review, so it’s important to make sure that an AAT review is done correctly, with the best possible written submission and supporting materials.

Our AAT review service offers a comprehensive package of benefits designed to present your case in the best possible way to the MRT including:

  • A thorough review of your case and the reason(s) for the refusal or cancellation
  • Review of your existing supporting documents and suggestions for improvement where necessary
  • Assistance with preparation of witness statements and other supporting documents
  • Review of previous MRT and Federal Court cases that may support your visa application
  • Creation of a thorough written submission for your MRT review along with all forms required by the MRT
  • Lodgment with the MRT and handling all communications from the MRT regarding your case


Your visa status in Australia can also be affected by an AAT review – if you are currently on a bridging A visa, your visa can be extended if your lodge for an AAT review within the required time limit after notification of your refusal or cancellation.

There are strict time limits imposed by the AAT which cannot be extended. Contact Northam & Associates immediately if you wish to pursue an AAT review and we can advise you of your options, your time limits, and how we can create and lodge your case documents with the AAT for the best possible chance at success. The first step is to request our free AAT assessment where we can advise you as to whether we believe your case has a chance at review, and what the AAT time limits for your case are, and how we can help.

Schedule a Professional Consultation Today

To learn about your rights at the AAT and for a review of your case, schedule your private consultation with a Registered Migration Agent today by Skype, phone, or at our offices in Sydney.