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Experiencing student visa refusal while you are onshore in Australia could be frustrating because it means the only way to keep it alive is going with the AAT appeal process if you don’t want to leave Australia.

AAT is a super complex stage to earn your student visa with only 40% decision set aside, but yes, we can help you with every step of the process. You can book a consultation session to discuss about your student visa refusal case or read this education ONE article, this is what you’ll read:

Let’s start the journey.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT): Who Are They?

Yes, right, who are they? Why if your student visa is refused onshore then you have to appeal to AAT?

Well, let us introduce you.


Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent body in Australia tasked to conduct independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws.

What is their role in your visa decision?

Imagine you have applied for a visa and the decision is not in your favour. Actually you don’t need to worry because the AAT will ‘step in’ to review the decision and ensure the decision has a fair result.

They will carefully consider all information and evidence, ensuring the process is followed to the letter, and they have the authority to overturn, modify, or enforce the initial decision made by the Department of Home Affairs.

The AAT’s role is critical in upholding the rights of visa applicants and ensuring that visa decisions are made in the best interests of both parties, both the applicant and Australia.

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 Do You Do Student Visa AAT Appeal?

Now the topic shifts to your opportunity to request a review because you feel the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has misjudged your application.

Let’s first thank the Australian Government for facilitating a way to get your student visa back.

To obtain this second chance, you need to 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.

Don’t let a refused student visa application derail your dreams. Our registered migration agent Australia can help you win your AAT appeal. Book your consultation today!

Timeframes and deadlines for lodging an appeal

If you get a student visa cancellation or refusal, there is a very strict timeframe for filing an AAT appeal. If you miss the application deadline, your case will be decided by AAT, so always check your own timeline to follow the procedures.

The time period will be determined according to the complexity of your case and what the urgency is, here are the factors that determine the duration you get:

  1. If you are appealing the decision to cancel your student visa.
  2. If you appeal a decision to reject your student visa application because you failed to meet the requirements.

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 ground, 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.

Can you extend time for the appeal?

Yes, 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:

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

After sending your time limit extension AAT will send the copy to DHA which will take 14 days to tell AAT if they oppose the application. If the DHA doesn’t oppose the application, AAT will decide without holding a hearing.

Hence it will be better if you are doing it on the timeline in the first place, just to play it safe.

Who’s eligible to have their student visa to the AAT appeal process?

If your student visa application is rejected or cancelled you have the opportunity to submit a review and appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), but not everyone gets this opportunity. 

You’ll be eligible for student visa AAT appeal if: your decision letter saying you have the right to appeal.

This review can only be made by a person who has right to request a review:

  1. In some cases the only person who can apply for review is the visa applicant or former visa holder.
  2. In other cases it can only be the sponsor or a close relative.
  3. In some cases the review applicant must be within Australia at the time of decision or at the time the application for review is lodged, or both.

Who can assist you in the AAT review process?

AAT surely expects that you fully participate in the review to present your case, you can choose to deal directly with AAT or ask someone to help and represent you.

AAT suggests that you are having assistance from a registered migration agent in Australia, and that’s why we are eligible to help you because we have an in-house RMA to help you appeal. Book a consultation with us, time’s ticking.

Here’s list of who can represent you in student visa AAT appeal:

  • registered migration agent
  • Australian lawyer
  • close family member, or
    • Spouse
    • Child
    • Parent
    • brother or sister
  • the person nominating or sponsoring you

If you are planning to appoint a representative you’ll need to provide the AAT with the details listed in this form.

Don’t miss out on your second chance! Book a consultation today with our experienced in-house registered migration agent Australia to increase your chances of a successful student visa AAT appeal.

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 7 days before the hearing, or sometimes the AAT will ask for a specific date.

Make sure you follow all the procedures, OK?

Grounds for AAT Appeal

If you feel like you’ve been treated badly, don’t just sit back and accept it! Appealing a decision can be a great way to correct mistakes and ensure things are fair. It’s like having a second chance to make things right.


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

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

Always provide strong evidence in supporting the appeal

Evidence is very important to support an appeal because it provides the basis for an appeal and shows that the initial decision about your student visa was incorrect.

To help the AAT make a fair decision, you can provide evidence such as:

  • Documents (letters, emails, medical records, and financial reports).
  • Physical evidence (photos, videos and audio recordings).

The stronger the evidence, the more likely your appeal is to be successful because strong evidence will be highly considered in changing the decision.

Yes, although there is no guarantee that despite strong evidence, your appeal will be successful providing such strong evidence as to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Do your best and make sure the AAT has all the information they need (and of course must be decision-ready) to make a fair decision.

Let our in-house registered migration agent Australia help you gather and present strong evidence to support your student visa AAT appeal. Book a consultation today.

How Long Will It Take to Get The Decision?

The time it takes for the AAT to make a decision on your student visa appeal can vary depending on the complexity of the student visa case and how busy the AAT is that day, but you will usually hear a response within 2 to 3 months of your appeal hearing.

There are three main possible outcomes to your AAT student visa appeal:

  1. You win! Your appeal has been granted, and you are officially a student visa holder, ready to continue your studies in Australia.
  2. The appeal was rejected and the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) initial decision remains in effect.
  3. The appeal is partially accepted and the AAT makes a new decision that is more favourable to you than the DHA’s initial decision.

Tips for a Successful Student Visa AAT Appeal

Finally you make it here! How’s the article? Before we continue to our last section, you can comment on the section below and let us know if you have any questions or want to share your case about student visa AAT appeal.

And now let’s move on to what tips we are giving you to be successful in appealing your case? Well we have it for you.

Working with registered migration agents

As the AAT stated on their website that they recommend getting help from a registered migration agent Australia which can help to provide you with legal advice and preparing decision-ready and complete documents and evidence.


We are proud to say that our in-house RMA has a 99% success rate for all visas which sounds too good to be true, but it’s a reality. You can check our past clients success story on our Google profile here, let’s not just take our word for it.

Book a consultation today and get a 99% success rate guarantee!

Strong documentation and evidence

Above we already mentioned the documents and evidence that can help you win your case, you’ll just need to sort out which evidence will give you the benefits.

Strong evidence and documents will certainly be an advantage for you to convince AAT to change your student visa status, therefore, choose these documents and evidence carefully and use them as your main ‘ammunition’ to show.

Choose the right grounds for appeal

There are many different grounds for appealing your student visa and it is important to choose the ground that is most relevant to your case.

You should carefully review the decision letter from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to identify the reasons why your application was rejected and make it your primary reason in filing an appeal to state that ‘my student visa should not have been rejected or cancelled’.

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