- The Tribunals (Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)); and / or
- The Minister for Immigration.
As legal professionals, we are called on to represent applicants or companies in cases where:
- Applications have been unsuccessful
- Immigration department officials have taken action or are about to take action which is improper or beyond their power
- Reviewing case to advise on prospects of appeal
- Advise on other immigration options – separate or parallel to an appeal or review
- Preparing all aspects of the appeal, including written submissions to the Tribunal/ Court
- Preparing the case and client for the Tribunal or Court hearing
- Preparing and collecting evidence to support the case
- Representing and advocating for clients at the hearing
- Visa cancellations and refusals
- Work experience
- Skilled migrants
- Language ability
- Genuineness of marital, spousal, de facto, same-sex relationship
- Genuineness of visitor/ student status
- Company sponsorships and nominations
- Eligibility of sponsors
- Whether notices from the Immigration Department were properly sent
- Breach of employer sponsorship undertakings or visa conditions and obligations
Immigration Department decisions can be reviewed by application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Generally speaking the Tribunal is able to reconsider all the facts, circumstances and the law in a particular case and make a decision on the merits.
The Minister for Immigration
The Minister for Immigration has a personal power to intervene and grant a visa, despite refusal by the Immigration Department and the Tribunal. However, this power is not used by the Minister very often and she/he is not obliged to use this power. The power may be used if the Minister considers it is in the public interest to do so, even if a person does not meet the legal requirements for a visa.
It is also possible that some decisions of the Immigration Department or the Tribunal can be appealed to the Federal Courts. This type of review is different because it is generally confined to whether an "error of law" occurred in the making of the decision, rather than whether the decision was correct based on the facts.
The review and appeals processes are complex, and any right to review or appeal must be dealt with comprehensively and quickly.
Why an application may be refused or a visa revoked
Applications may have been refused for a variety of reasons. Some examples include:
- Immigration officers may have misinterpreted and not properly applied the law to the facts or may have overlooked the facts
- The application was not properly prepared or presented
- The applicant was deemed not to meet visa criteria, including character and health
- The company/ employer sponsor was deemed not to meet sponsorship or nomination criteria
- The applicant was deemed to have provided false, misleading or insufficient information or documentation
- Breach of visa conditions – eg work restrictions or study and attendance obligations
- Breaches of good character requirements
- Termination of employment, in the case of employer sponsored visas
- Termination of relationship, in the case of partner visas
- Discovery that false, incorrect or misleading information was provided in support of an application
- Allegations that the marriage, de facto relationship or same sex relationship was not genuine or did not really exist
- Visas were improperly granted – eg the Immigration Department made an incorrect decision in granting the visa