The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is the authority that is responsible for reviewing administrative decisions that have been made under Commonwealth laws. It began operating on 1 July 1976.

This organisation conducts independent reviews of decisions taken by various Australian government departments, agencies and ministers. They also conduct independent reviews of decisions taken by state government and non-government bodies but in limited circumstances.


The Administrative Appeals Tribunal or AAT does not have the authority to review any or all decisions. The organisation can only review decisions if a regulation, Act or any other legislation explicitly states that the decision may be reviewed by the AAT.

Some of the decisions that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is authorised to review are those related to:

  • Australian citizenship
  • Immigration and family assistance
  • Passports
  • Decisions related to issuance of visas
  • Taxation
  • Freedom of information
  • Commonwealth workers’ compensation
  • Security assessments by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

What this means is if you have received notification regarding visa cancellation or refusal, you can get the decision reviews by the AAT.

However, you must know that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is not necessarily the first step in getting a decision reviewed. Depending on the circumstances, the AAT can review a decision only after the primary decision has gone through an internal review or after it has been reviewed by another specialist review board.


When reviewing decisions, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal uses a very specific set of criteria to evaluate the merits of each individual case.  They take a fresh, objective look at the facts of the case as well as the law and policy that is relevant to the case. Based on these findings, they then arrive at their own decision.

In making their review decisions, the AAT aims to be fair, quick and just. While the exact process may differ depending on the type of decision being reviewed, all review decisions must be made strictly in adherence with the AAT guidelines. In case there is more than one decision that is correct for a particular case, the preferable decision is considered as the ruling decision.

When applying to the AAT for a review decision, how you put across your case is crucial. You need to submit all supporting documents and evidence to demonstrate that you deserve to get your visa cancellation or refusal decision revoked. The best way to do this is by hiring an experienced immigration consultant such as LIVV Immigration to represent you. Backed by several years of experience, we know how to put together a compelling case on your behalf and will make sure that all formalities are completed well within the deadline.

Call us today so we can get started on your AAT application right away.