Cancellations & Refusals

Table of Contents

The following information is not intended to be exhaustive, and further eligibility requirements do apply. Please contact us to determine if you qualify.

AAT / FCC / FCA / HC Appeals

It is very important to get in touch with us if your visa has been refused by the Department of Immigration as there are time limits for appealing a decision. The following appeal options are available should you want to challenge the decision.


Merits review is the process by which a person or body:

  • other than the primary decision-maker;
  • reconsiders the facts, law, and policy aspects of the original decision; and
  • determines what is the correct and preferable decision.  The process of review may be described as ‘stepping into the shoes’ of the primary decision-maker. The result of merits review is the affirmation or variation of the original decision.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal 

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) conducts independent merit reviews of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws.  The AAT reviews decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies and, in limited circumstances, decisions made by the state government and non-government bodies. AAT also reviews decisions made under Norfolk Island laws.

AAT aims to provide a review process that is accessible, is fair, just, economical, informal and quick, is proportionate to the importance and complexity of the matter, and promotes public trust and confidence in the decision-making of the Tribunal.

The AAT review decisions “on the merits”. The AAT looks at the matter afresh, the relevant facts, law, and policy and arrive at a decision. The AAT has the power to affirm, vary, set aside or remit a decision under review.

The AAT has the power to review decisions relating to;

  • Migration and Refugee Visa and Visa related Decisions
  • Visa Cancellations and Refusals
  • Australian Citizenship



Disclaimer: GHAN Migration is a migration agency. We specialise in providing migration advice and assistance in relation to all Visa Applications, Refusals, and Cancellations at Departmental and the Tribunal. GHAN Migration does not provide services relating to Judicial Review of Migration Decisions.  Below information about the venues of appeal is general in nature, please contact a law firm to get advice and representation.


Federal Circuit Court (FCC)

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia can review some decisions by the Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Border Protection (the Minister), the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Migration Review Tribunal under the Migration Act 1958. 

The FCC will review the decision to determine if a jurisdictional error has been made by the decision-maker.

The FCC cannot reconsider the fact and reason of your case, take new factual information, or grant you a visa. If the FCC finds a jurisdictional error, it can either refer your case back to the decision-maker or prevent the Minister from acting on the decision.


Federal Court of Australia (FCA)

The Federal Court’s objective is to decide matters according to the law – promptly and effectively in so doing, to interpret the statutory law and develop the general law of the Commonwealth, so as to fulfill the role of a court exercising the judicial power of the Commonwealth under the Constitution

The Federal Court of Australia can review the decisions made by the FCC to determine if there were any jurisdictional errors.


High Court Appeals

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. 

The function of the High Court of Australia to interpret and apply the law of Australia, to deal with cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals, by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts.

The High Court’s work relates to the hearing of appeals against decisions of other courts. There is no automatic right to have an appeal heard by the High Court and parties who wish to appeal must persuade the Court in a preliminary hearing that there are special reasons to cause the appeal to be heard. Decisions of the High Court on appeals are final. There are no further appeals once a matter has been decided by the High Court, and the decision is binding on all other courts throughout Australia.