Visa Appeals Lawyers

If you disagree with the Department’s decision to refuse your visa application or cancel your visa, you may take the matter further by appealing to an independent statutory body called the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (or abbreviated as ‘AAT’) whose job it is to review the merits of the original decisions.
At Visa Plan, we strive to become the top Australian migration agents and lawyers in the industry. Our migration experts know how best to manage your case in order to serve your visa related needs with minimum hassle.

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Visa Plan strives to be highly regarded and respected in the profession as a premier immigration law firm. Unlike many other firms where your matter is assigned to a new migration lawyer only after you have signed, at Visa Plan you will always know who is handling your matter before you engage our services.


Immigration matters may require a vast multitude of professional expertise. For example, matters of complex judicial review should be briefed to and settled by experienced counsels, and business visas will need competent accountants and transparent business brokers. Whatever expertise is needed, we will have the necessary networks for your success.


However experienced, knowledgeable or passionate, everyone is prone to human errors. At Visa Plan, we provide the unique safety net of having two Australian immigration lawyers attending to each matter at all times. We are the only migration firm Melbourne that implements and enforces this system, offering unmatched value to our clients.


Australian immigration law is voluminous and dynamic, requiring immigration lawyers to keep up with amendments. As the top immigration law firm in Melbourne, we are not only committed to improving our professional knowledge, but also educating fellow migration agents and lawyers, thereby propagating a culture of continuous learning and improving industry standards.


Professional fees will differ across visa types and individual circumstances. During your initial consultation with our immigration lawyers in Melbourne, you will receive a quote for our professional fee and anticipated disbursements, including the visa fee payable to the Department. This assures that you are receiving the finest services at a reasonable price.


Our Google reviews speak for themselves and are testament to our commitment to delivering 100% client satisfaction in all matters. You can rest assured that our utmost priority is to make sure that you are happy with our professional services and get the visa you need for your Australian dreams!

Time is of Essence. Enquire Now!

Visa appeals are extremely urgent, as you will usually have 28 days to lodge an application for appeal to the AAT or 35 days to appeal to the Courts.

Q. Can I apply for an extension of time to lodge the appeal application to the AAT?

It is very difficult to obtain an extension of time, meaning failing to appeal in time would place you at a serious risk of your matter not being heard. Extensions are only issued in extremely limited circumstances, pursuant to section 29 of the AAT Act. As the rule of thumb, we strongly advise that you speak to visa appeal lawyers at your earliest convenience to ensure timely submission of your migration appeal.

Q. Can I appeal my decision to the AAT?

​If you have been notified of a visa refusal or visa cancellation by the Department, the notice would usually state whether or not the decision is reviewable and specify the parties with the right to apply for review. Whether or not your visa appeal has prospects for success is another question. Our migration appeal experts can provide the best assessment of your matter and identify the strongest grounds available. Don’t gamble with your future. Speak with our immigration solicitors now and make sure your visa appeal is logged in a timely manner. 

Migration Judicial Review Lawyers

If the AAT affirms the Department’s decision, you may consider appealing to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Nevertheless, your case will likely be dismissed unless you can establish a jurisdictional error in the decision. A jurisdictional error arises when the AAT exercises power beyond their statutory limit. Examples include:

  • Identifying a wrong issue;
  • Asking a wrong question;
  • Ignoring relevant material;
  • Relying on irrelevant material;
  • Incorrect interpretation and/or application to the facts of the applicable law;
  • Procedural unfairness.

How can I apply for Judicial Review?

A Federal Circuit Court application for review of migration decisions by the AAT must be lodged within 35 days of the date of the decision being handed down. Preparation of such an application is often highly technical, requiring careful preparation of evidence and drafting of an originating application specifying in technical terms the nature of the orders sought.

In limited circumstances, the 35 day timeframe may be extended on application. Such an extension is unlikely without strongly compelling reasons. Applicants in such matters are required to supply an affidavit stating the facts on which the application relies and why the application was not filed within time. It is therefore imperative that appeals be lodged in a timely manner.

Do I have a case for Judicial Review?

The answer depends on whether you can prove that the AAT has acted outside its power in your matter. This falls in the realm of administrative law, which is considered to be one of the most complex legal areas in the profession.

Only a legally trained professional can competently assess the prospects for appeal. There are no fast or easy answers, so we invite each prospective appellant to attend a consultation for detailed discussions with experienced judicial review lawyers.

What is a Jurisdictional error in Migration?

Judicial review can only relate to a question of law, distinct from questions of fact. Hence, if your application for judicial review is related to facts, as found by the AAT, your application will most likely be dismissed. Drawing the distinction is often difficult in practice. In Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v Yusuf (2001) 206 CLR 323, Justices McHugh, Gummow and Hayne commented in the following terms [at paragraph 82]:

“It is necessary, however, to understand what is meant by ‘jurisdictional error’ under the general law and the consequences that follow from a decision maker making such an error. As was said in Craig v South Australia (1995) 184 CLR 163, if an administrative tribunal (like the Tribunal) ‘falls into an error of law which causes it to identify a wrong issue, to ask itself a wrong question, to ignore relevant material, to rely on irrelevant material or, at least in some circumstances, to make an erroneous finding or to reach a mistaken conclusion, and the tribunal’s exercise or purported exercise of power is thereby affected, it exceeds its authority or powers’. Such an error of law is a jurisdictional error which will invalidate any order or decision of the tribunal which reflects it. ‘Jurisdictional error’ can thus be seen to embrace a number of different kinds of error, the list of which, in the passage cited is not exhaustive”.

Do I need an immigration lawyer, or can I use a migration agent?

A migration agent cannot assist in court proceedings. It is important, therefore, that you locate and engage a qualified migration lawyer in Australia to represent you in the Federal Circuit Court. Visa Plan prides itself on having the right mix of migration and courtroom experience, making our team the ideal visa appeal specialists in Australia to handle your matter. 

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AAT Lawyers Australia In Melbourne | Perth | Adelaide

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