Visa Refusal Or Cancellation Advice

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

The immigration department will advise you of your review/appeal rights when notifying you of a refusal or cancellation decision. Time limits are strict and usually short, so it is essential that you seek advice as soon as possible.

Key Issues

If you are notified that your visa has been cancelled or 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?

Review Process

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

  • Decisions about deportation and citizenship.
  • Decisions on 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 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 but are supposed 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.  This is known as judicial review.  However the grounds of review are be 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, whilst keeping costs to a minimum.


Character Cancellations (s501 MIGRATION ACT 1958)

Given our experience in criminal as well as immigration law, we have a 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 get 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 Intended Cancellation or a Notice of Intended Refusal in relation to your visa from the Department of Immigration we suggest that you contact us urgently to discuss.


Why Putt Legal?

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.