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aat appeal for student visa refusal australia

Thinking of going for an AAT appeal for your student visa refusal? We’ve got you covered!

A student visa is a permit to be obtained to become a temporary resident in Australia to study. A refusal of your application is a disappointment, as it means you cannot legally study here.

Appealing to AAT is a complex process to earn your student visa with only 40% decision set aside. But yes, we can assist you in every step of the process.

only 40 student visa case set aside

If you apply onshore and receive a refusal, the refusal letter may offer you the opportunity to contact an independent body in Australia called Administrative Appeal Tribunal that conducts independent merits reviews of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws.

In this exclusive article, education ONE, as an education agent in Australia with more than 15 years of experience, will help international students like you understand AAT’s function when experiencing an Australian student visa refusal.

What are the Reasons for Student Visa Refusal?

Australian student visa refusals most often occur for two reasons: not being able to fulfil the Genuine Student (GS) requirements, which were just implemented last May, and failure to show financial proof, which is also used by DHA to ensure that you will have no difficulty living in Australia so you can focus on your studies.

The concept of Genuine Student (GS) itself is to show that the main intention of coming to Australia is to study, not work or vacation.

Because if your main goal is not to study, there are other visa options.

Our registered migration agents can provide you with the legal advice you need to understand your options and explore the possibility of an appeal. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced education ONE consulting team today.

What to Prepare Before Appealing to AAT for Your Student Visa Refusal?

On its website, the AAT recommends that individuals seek professional assistance from migration agents to ensure that appeals are adjudicated and carried out correctly.

Here at education ONE, we have in-house migration agents who can help you appeal to AAT after your student visa refusal. Consultation with our assessment team is free; book your schedule here.

Understanding the reasons for the refusal you receive is crucial because that is the foundation that will be used to build a case at the AAT later. Failure to do so can have fatal consequences, namely, your visa status will not change, so you will be illegal to study.

Is my decision appealable to the AAT?

Following are some of the grounds for appealing to the AAT, where student visa applicants can request a review of the AAT decision:

  • error in assessing the application.
  • misapplied the law.
  • did not consider all of the relevant evidence.
  • biassed or prejudiced.
  • the decision was unfair or unjust.
  • the decision was based on new information unavailable at the time of the original decision.

What evidence is strongest for supporting an appeal?

You may provide any information that supports your case without being limited to the information listed below, the information and documents you use in your appeal will depend on your personal circumstances. 

We provide you with a list of strong evidence you may need to support your appeal:

  • Addressing the refusal reasons directly.
  • Providing extra evidence to show genuine student intentions.
  • Showing that you have direct access to sufficient financial capacity for your studies and stay.
  • Documents (letters, emails, medical records, and financial reports).
  • Physical evidence (photos, videos and audio recordings).
  • Reasons for not undertaking the study in your home country
  • Information about ties to your home country that would encourage your return, for example:
    • Evidence of properties or assets held in home country
    • Evidence of immediate family members and any dependants in your home country
    • Evidence of current or proposed employment in home country and intention to return or commence that employment.
    • Return ticket to your home country.
  • Confirmation of your enrolment in an educational institution
  • Evidence of your past study
  • Information about the relevance of the course to your past or proposed future employment
  • Information that explains any gaps in your study history or a failure to complete studies, such as medical reports that you have been unwell or have a physical or mental illness that may have impacted your studies
  • Information from other people who can confirm or support your case
  • Evidence that explains why specific information in the Department decision is incorrect
  • Any other information or documents that prove your circumstances.

What evidence is strongest for supporting an appeal

The stronger the evidence, the more likely your appeal will be successful. Strong evidence will be highly considered in changing the decision.

Provide such strong evidence to give yourself the best chance of winning.

The more compelling your evidence, the higher your chances of a successful appeal.  Contact education ONE today and get the expert support!

Sample appeal letter for student visa refusal

Note: This sample appeal letter is a work of fiction and does not represent an actual case where all names, places, and details are created for educational purposes only, intended to provide a general understanding of the format and content of AAT appeal letters.

In the Matter of Jing Cheng 



Department of Home Affairs




This application seeks a review of the Department of Home Affairs’ decision on 10th June 2024 to refuse my Subclass 500 Student Visa application. The decision was based on the fact that I did not satisfy the Genuine Student (GS) requirement.

I respectfully submit that the Department’s decision was flawed and failed to consider all relevant factors in my case. This appeal demonstrates that I am a genuine student with strong ties to China and a clear purpose for completing my studies in Australia.

I am a 25-year-old Chinese citizen with a solid academic background. I hold a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Science) with First Class Honours from Tsinghua University, a highly respected institution consistently ranked among the top 10 in the world.

In 2021, I was granted a Subclass 500 Student Visa (Grant Number: T23456789) to pursue a Master of Environmental Management program at the University of Melbourne (CoE Number: MY-12345). My initial visa validity period is from 1st February 2022 to 31st January 2024.

My decision to pursue postgraduate studies in Australia stemmed from a desire to gain expertise in sustainable waste management practices. China is facing significant challenges in this area, and the Master of Environmental Management program at the University of Melbourne offers a unique specialisation in bioremediation techniques not available in similar programs offered in China.

The Department’s decision appears to have questioned my genuine student status due to my participation in a summer internship program at a local environmental consultancy firm during the December-February 2023 break.

Before coming to Australia, I volunteered vastly with the Beijing Green Initiative, a leading environmental NGO in China. This experience, documented through letters of appreciation and awards, instilled a strong passion for environmental sustainability.

The summer internship was integral to my program curriculum and provided valuable practical experience in applying the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Upon my return, it further solidified my commitment to environmental protection and my desire to contribute to China’s sustainable development goals.

I have strong ties to China. My parents and professors at prestigious universities in Beijing reside there and depend on my future success. Additionally, I co-own a small, family-run recycling business in Shanghai, a significant financial anchor and incentive for my return.

Financially, I am well-positioned to support my studies. I received a partial scholarship from the University of Melbourne (Scholarship Reference Number: UoM-ENV-2021) and continued financial support from my parents. I maintain a healthy bank balance with sufficient funds to cover my remaining study period.

The decision to refuse my visa application disregards my clear purpose for my studies and the valuable contribution I aim to make upon returning to China. I am a highly motivated student with a proven academic record and a solid commitment to completing my program and applying the knowledge I have gained to address environmental challenges in my home country.

I respectfully request that the Tribunal set aside the Department’s decision and grant my Subclass 500 Student Visa application.

Should you require more documentation or information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my migration agent in Perth, Indah Melindasari (MARN 0961448), at ONE derland Consulting at [email protected].

Sincerely yours,

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +61 434 567 890

Address: 123 Fake Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

How long is the AAT appeal for student visa refusal processing time?

The processing time for the AAT to make a decision on your student visa refusal appeal is around 9 to 22 months.

aat appeal for student visa refusal processing time

Quite a long wait, eh? Can you stay legally in Australia during the waiting period?

Don’t worry! You’ll get a temporary visa after your current substantive visa ceases and while your new substantive visa application is being processed called Bridging Visa A (Subclass 010).

How Do You Do Student Visa AAT Appeal?

First, thank the Australian Government for facilitating a way to get your student visa back.

To obtain this second chance, you must submit an application to the AAT within (generally) 28 days of receiving the decision letter. It’s like returning an item to the store – act fast!

This is how you should initiate your student visa AAT appeal:

  1. Obtain a copy of the decision letter.
  2. Choose the grounds for your appeal.
  3. Complete the AAT application form.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Submit your application to the AAT.

Types of decisions related to student visas that the AAT can review

The AAT can review decisions related to student visas, including:

  • Student visa refusal
  • Student visa cancelation
  • Other visa-related decisions

How long do I have to file an appeal?

If you receive a student visa cancellation or refusal, you must file an AAT appeal within a very strict time frame. If you miss the application deadline, your case will be decided by AAT, so always check your own timeline to follow the procedures.

According to the AAT website, you’ll have this time limit for applying for an appeal:

  • If you are refused or cancelled based on character grounds, you’ll have 9 days after you are notified.
  • For other grounds, you must lodge an application for review within 28 days after the notification of the decision.

You can extend your time limit for your appeal if AAT decides to extend the time limit. You’ll first need to apply in writing and include why your application is late.

There’s another condition you’ll need to fulfil, such as:

  • This only applies to online review
  • Filling in an application for an extension of time form
  • Writing an email or letter

Time is critical, don’t lose your chance to study in Australia! Schedule a free consultation session with education ONE now for expert guidance.

Invited to hearing, if necessary

AAT will discuss and review all information based on the information you convey in the hearing process. Don’t worry; this process is only needed if you are asked to explain the documents you shared with them about your case.

If such a hearing is required, try to provide additional information at least seven days before the hearing; sometimes, the AAT will ask for a specific date.

How Can I Increase My Chances of Winning My AAT Appeal with a Migration Agent?

While the data shows a lower overall appeal success rate, at education ONE, we’re proud to boast a 90% success rate for our clients’ visas.

This proven track record gives you a HUGE advantage in continuing your Australian study journey.

Everyone has a great opportunity to reverse Australia’s immigration decisions if accompanied by careful preparation.

We understand that we cannot guarantee success in student visa refusal appeals to AAT, but rest assured that using the services of an educational consultant who has a partnership with a registered migration agent will help you:

  1. Understand the entire appeal process at the AAT, starting from the deadlines, required documents, and the format of the appeal.
  2. Analyse the rejection letter and understand the specific points that will be used as the basis for the appeal that will be made.
  3. There are many choices of documents that must be attached, ranging from general to specific. We will provide a document checklist to maximise your winning potential.

free consultation

There is no better time to prepare an appeal at the AAT for your Australian student visa refusal than today. BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION SESSION. Stay lawful and contact education ONE Australia via phone at 1300 083 663 or at [email protected]. 

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if you wish to get help with your study and visa. Just book a call!