Immigration Appeals

If you wish to travel to Australia whether it is for business, as a tourist, student or for any other purpose, you have to complete an application and apply for the appropriate visa for your circumstances. If you are offshore, visas can be applied for at the nearest Embassy or online where applicable.

To obtain an Australian visa, you have to be part of one of following categories:

  • Skilled migrants – you must have some abilities and skills that will benefit Australia.
  • Students – for academics that want to study in Australia.
  • Business migrants – for business people with great amount of experience and proven business skills.
  • Employer Nomination Migrants – Australian employers recruit skilled workers, or in the case of regional headquarters, allow for transfer of key employees in Australia.
  • Family migrants – the requirement are to have a close relative in Australia who can sponsor you, or to be in a relationship with someone eligible to nominate you.
  • Special eligibility – for former residents of Australia, and family of New Zealand citizens settling in Australia.
  • Refugee – humanitarian entrants – people who have been recognised as refugees or are eligible for other humanitarian reason.
  • New Zealand citizens – there is agreement between Australia and New Zealand that allows New Zealand citizens to enter Australia to live, visit and work.


The only thing you need to do is to choose which of these categories is appropriate and apply for you. Please note that each visa has different criteria for assessment and a different procedure.

If your application has been unsuccessful or refused, you will receive a letter from the Department informing you of your review rights.

Yourself, or a registered migration agent can appeal on your behalf. There are strict time limits in which the decision can be appealed. The appeal tribunals do not accept any expired application appeals.

The Australian government has established 2 tribunals to hear and process appeals in terms of immigration purposes – the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) and the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT). Each of these two tribunal deal with different visa applications, and in which tribunal you have to lodge your appeal depends on the type of visa application you have made.

You or a registered migration agent on your behalf can appeal at the Migration Review Tribunal or the Refugee Review Tribunal if the Department refuses your visa application. There is an application charge, but if your appeal is successful, the application charge will be refunded in part.

This tribunal operates without lawyers and has the power to change the decision made by the Department.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the MRT/RRT you have further appeal rights the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. Appeals to the Federal Magistrate Court can be very expensive and time-consuming.