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When your Australian Visa or Nomination application has been refused or denied, you may have the option to apply for an Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) merits review. This must be done within the specified timeframe if you think the Department of Home Affairs’ decision is incorrect and you can provide supporting documents to make your claims to an AAT.

A merits review means your application will be reassessed by a different person. Your whole case is considered again, new evidence is allowed and changed circumstances may be taken into account.

How do I know if I can apply for an AAT merits review for my visa or nomination refusal?

The fastest or easiest way to know is to check the Refusal Decision letter from the Department of Home Affairs. This will specify if your visa refusal decision can be reviewed or not. If it can, the letter will tell you the timeframe you have to apply.

Generally speaking, the timeframe will be between 2 – 70 days depending on which type of visa or nomination you have applied for.

How much do I need to pay for the AAT merits review?

  • For most reviews of migration decisions, the application fee is AUD3000.
  • For reviews of refugee-related decisions, the application fee is AUD1846.
  • For reviews of character-related decisions, the application fee is AUD962.

What decisions might I receive from an AAT merits review?

  • affirmed (Department’s decision is upheld)
  • set aside and varied (eg. amount of security bond reduced)
  • remitted (eg. returned with direction to department to process visa) or
  • set aside and substituted with a new decision (no cancellation).

How can I receive a refund from the AAT?

The AAT will refund:

  • the application fee you paid if the AAT decides that the application is invalid
  • 50% of the full application fee if you paid the full fee and the AAT decides you can pay the reduced fee.


If the review is decided in your favour, the AAT will refund:

  • 50% of the reduced fee amount you paid; or
  • 50% of the full application fee if you paid the full fee.

How can SOL Migration assist you with AAT Visa review?

SOL Migration has a strong team of 5 experienced Registered Migration Agents. Our Registered Migration Agents will assess your eligibility and recommend which pathway is your best option for achieving Permanent Residence in Australia

Should I apply for an AAT merits review?

The benefits of the AAT merits review are it will allow your visa application or nomination application to be reviewed by a third party, and you will have the chance to provide additional documents and evidence to support your claims.

Contact SOL Migration today to evaluate your situation and check if an AAT merits review is a good option for you.

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