My Visa Got Refused. What Do I Do Now?

My Visa Got Refused. What Do I Do Now?

Don’t let a visa refusal shatter your dreams of a life down under. Discover the power of appeal and reclaim your path to success. Let Ramsden Lawyers guide you through the complexities and uncertainties, providing the knowledge and support you need to turn a setback into a triumph. Explore our comprehensive article to unlock the possibilities and embrace a brighter future. Together, we’ll navigate the challenges and rewrite your immigration story.

Visa Refusal – Background:

Visa refusals can be a distressing and overwhelming experience, causing significant stress and anxiety for individuals hoping to travel, work, or join their loved ones in a foreign country. The disappointment and uncertainty of a visa refusal can disrupt your plans and leave you feeling lost and disheartened. However, it’s essential to remember that a visa refusal is not the end of the road. Several options are available to appeal and address the refusal, providing a glimmer of hope and the opportunity to turn the situation around.

This comprehensive article will delve into the complexities of visa refusals and the various avenues you can explore to challenge the decision and achieve a favourable outcome. We understand the emotional toll that visa refusals can take, and our aim at Ramsden Lawyers is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to confidently navigate this challenging process.


Common reasons for visa refusals

  1. Invalid Passport
  2. Invalid Visa Application Form
  3. Character Requirements not met
  4. Outstanding documents
  5. Health requirements not met
  6. Failure to provide additional documents as requested

Whom do I appeal to?

One potential step to consider after a visa rejection is lodging an appeal. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent body that can review your appeal within a specified timeframe. The AAT possesses the authority to overturn a decision and return it to the department for reconsideration. This avenue provides an opportunity for a fresh assessment of your case and the chance to present compelling arguments supporting your visa eligibility.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

The AAT can review decisions made under the Migration Act 1958. The Migration Act and the Migration Regulations 1994 specify what decisions the AAT can review. The decision letter that you receive from the Department of Home Affairs will tell you if the decision can be reviewed and whether you are eligible to apply for a review.

What are the possible outcomes of my appeal?

Decisions are usually made after conducting a hearing. Decisions can be communicated to the appellant orally or in writing.

The possible outcomes of a decision are as follows:

  1. Affirm the decision: this means that the decision will remain unchanged.
  2. Vary the decision: The decision is changed.
  3. Set aside the decision and substitute a new one: the decision is replaced with a new one.
  4. Remit the decision: the matter is sent back to the Department to make a new decision.

The following decisions can also be made:

  1. No jurisdiction to review the decision: The AAT cannot undertake a review because it is not a valid application.
  2. Confirm the decision to dismiss the application because you did not attend the hearing: the decision needs to be changed.

What are the estimated fees to appeal a decision?

You must pay an application fee if you lodge an application for a review of most migration decisions. The application fee is $3,153.

NOTE: There is no application fee if you lodge an application for review of a bridging visa decision that resulted in a person being placed in immigration detention.

Are there any time limits to lodging an appeal with the AAT?

Yes, there are stringent time limits. The time limit to lodge an application for a review varies depending on the type of decision and whether you are in immigration detention. The period for lodging an application ends on the prescribed number of days after the day you are taken to have received notice of the decision. It is important to note that the AAT cannot extend the time limit to lodge an application for review.  

Can I travel overseas during the time of my review?

If you want to travel overseas, you must contact the AAT before making any travel arrangements to check the review status.

Suppose you have questions about your ability to travel or re-enter Australia or whether travel might affect your eligibility for a visa. In that case, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs. The AAT cannot give you advice or information about this.

What can the Administrative Appeals Tribunal not do?

  • review every decision to refuse or cancel a visa
  • review a decision to cancel a visa made personally by the Minister for Home Affairs or Minister for Immigration

review a decision if you are not entitled to apply for a review


Remember, a visa refusal is not the end of the road. By lodging an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), you gain an opportunity for a fresh assessment of your case. The AAT is an independent body that can review your appeal and potentially overturn the decision, paving the way for a favourable outcome.

Take control of your situation and reach out to Ramsden Lawyers today. Together, we will fight for your rightful visa approval and help you embark on the journey you’ve longed for. Contact us now and let us guide you towards success!

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance to the subject matter and must not be relied on as legal advice. Specific advice should be sought about your circumstances.