The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws.
REVIEW OF DECISIONS
The AAT reviews a decision “on the merits”. This means that AAT take a fresh look at the facts, law and policy relating to the decision and arrive at our own decision. The AAT must make the legally correct decision or, where there can be more than one correct decision, the preferable decision.
The AAT has the power to:
- affirm a decision
- vary a decision
- set aside a decision and substitute a new decision, or
- remit a decision to the decision-maker for reconsideration.
AAT aim to provide a review process that:
- is accessible,
- is fair, just, economical, informal and quick,
- is proportionate to the importance and complexity of the matter, and
- promotes public trust and confidence in the decision-making of the Tribunal.
The review process varies depending on the type of decision AAT are reviewing.
What is a merits review?
Merits review is an administrative reconsideration of a case. A merits review body makes decisions within the same legislative framework as the primary decision maker, and may exercise all the powers and discretions conferred on the primary decision maker.
We have the power under the Migration Act 1958 to:
- affirm (not change) the primary decision
- vary the primary decision
- set aside the primary decision and substitute a new decision
- remit (return) a matter to Department of Immigration and Border Protection
How do I lodge my application?
Applications for review can be lodged:
- by hand, post or fax
What happens after I lodge my application?
After receiving an application for review, AAT will send you an acknowledgement letter and request files and documents relating to the decision under review from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or the Department of Home Affairs.
AAT will assess the validity of the application. AAT can only review a decision if a valid application for review has been made. AAT will advise you if it appears that the application is not valid.
How long will the process take?
The time taken by the Migration and Refugee division to make a decision on your case will depend on a range of factors including:
- the type of case
- when your case is given to a division Member to conduct the review.
The table is a guide only and does not guarantee that any individual matter will be heard in these timeframes.
|Processing times for decisions made between 1/07/17 and 31/12/17|
|Calendar days from lodgement to decision|
|Case category||Decisions||Within 365 days||Average||Median|
|By Migration/Refugee case type|
When a decision is made
If AAT affirm the decision under review we have decided that the decision under review should not be changed. The effect of this is that the decision remains in force.
If AAT set aside the decision under review, we have decided that the decision should be changed. AAT may replace (substitute) the decision with a new decision.
If AAT remit the decision under review, we have decided that the decision should be reconsidered. The effect of this is that the department is required to reconsider the application having regard to any directions made by AAT.
If AAT decide that we have no jurisdiction to review the decision, AAT have decided that we have no power to review the delegate’s decision.
If you are going to apply a review through AAT, please talk to our professional migration consultants today!