Citizenship & Visa Refusals

If your citizenship or visa application is refused, time is of the essence in deciding your next move. You will need to quickly decide whether you can apply for a review or appeal an adverse outcome.

 The immigration department will advise you of your review or appeal rights when notifying you of a refusal or cancellation decision. Time limits are strict and usually very short, so you must seek advice urgently. Every day counts. 



If you have been notified that your visa has been refused, your next step will be dependent on the following considerations:

  • Is it a decision that can be reviewed or appealed?
  • On what grounds can I apply?
  • What is the procedure for applying for review or appeal?
  • What are the time limits involved, and the likely costs?
  • What body can I appeal to? If there are different options, what are the merits of each?
  • Do I have prospects of successfully overturning the initial decision?
  • What will be my visa status while applying for review and awaiting an outcome?


Most visa decisions with a right of review are reviewable by the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT), including:

  • Decisions about deportation and citizenship.
  • Decisions relating to onshore visa applications.
  • Business-related sponsorships and nominations for temporary business entry visas, and employer nominations for permanent entry.
  • Decisions involving an Australian-based sponsor, for example, a partner, parent or child.


      When an appeal is processed, the AAT conducts a ‘merits review’ of either the original visa application or the cancellation decision, as the case may be. It looks afresh at the evidence and can take into account information already given to the Department as well as any new evidence or information the review applicant puts forward. 

      Generally speaking, the AAT is not bound like the courts of law with rules of evidence. The AAT is intended to be ‘fair, just, economical, informal and quick’. 

      There is also usually an ability to appeal the lawfulness of the Department’s decision-making in the courts, known as judicial review.  However, the grounds of review are more limited, as they involve legal issues only, and the proceedings can be costly. 

      As experienced immigration lawyers, Putt Legal can advise you on potential review or appeal options that you may have. We assist in the preparation of such cases if there are reasonable prospects of success while keeping costs to a minimum. 


      Given our background experience in criminal law as well as immigration law, we have unique expertise in character cancellations. When visas are refused or cancelled due to persons being sentenced to terms of imprisonment, or otherwise being of character concern, Putt Legal can help. 

      There is no review for mandatory character cancellations, but there is a revocation power under s501CA. Putt Legal has assisted many serving prisoners to have their visa cancellation decision revoked – i.e. get their visa back – by making successful submissions to the National Character Consideration Centre (NCCC). 

      If you get a Notice of Cancellation, Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation or a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal of your visa from the Department of Immigration we suggest that you contact us urgently to discuss.

      When it comes to visa refusals or cancellations, time is of the essence.

      Get in contact with us immediately!


      Putt Legal are your specialists in Immigration Law. We can assist you in making your migration to Australia seamless.

      The Australian visa process can be complex and confusing; our lawyers work with you to guide you through every step of the way.

      We are highly qualified and experienced in immigration law matters and are committed to providing expert advice in every individual case.

      Work Visas

      Coming to Australia to work? We can help!

      Visa Refusals & Cancellations

      Has your visa been refused or cancelled? Time is short! Let our expertise guide you.

      Legal Assistance for Migration Agents

      If you’d like us to advise or help you with a difficult case, arrange an appointment to speak with Jessica Edis.

      Family Visas

      Are you looking to bring a child, parent or relative to Australia? We can help!

      Partner & Spouse Visas

      Are you looking to bring your partner or spouse to Australia? We can help!

      Appeal against Adverse Migration Decisions

      If you require help with an appeal against an adverse migration decision (refusal or cancellation), we can help!

      Talk to our friendly immigration team today!

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