Refused or Cancelled Visa in Australia: What to Do if You Have Been Denied


Refused or cancelled visas happen, and they can create a huge headache for anyone trying to enter Australia. There are different types of visas, which means there are many different reasons that yours could be refused or cancelled. Once it happens, it’s important to have a plan so you know what to do to move forward.

If your visa has been refused or cancelled, it’s important to act fast.

Time is Short When Your Visa is Cancelled or Refused

Quick action should be taken if you plan to pursue visa approval after being denied. The best option is to work with a registered migration agent to ensure that all your documentation and forms are submitted properly the first time around to lower your risk of being turned down. Once you have failed one attempt, it can complicate matters when beginning a second attempt.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal & Your Australian Visa

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal, or AAT, is an independent organization that is responsible for making decisions regarding visas. After going through the AAT, your only other option is to ask the Minister for consideration. There are three divisions within the AAT that review decisions made by the Department of Immigration. They include:

  • AAT General Division

This division is responsible for citizenship matters, character matters including all Migration Act 1958 section 501 refusals, and OMARA or Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority matters.

  • AAT Migration and Refugee Division

The AAT’s Migration and Refugee Division, or MRD, reviews all decisions related to refugee and migration visa refusals, including nomination and sponsorship refusals, as well as cancelled visas.

  • AAT Immigration Assessment Authority

The Immigration Assessment Authority is an independent division inside the AAT that handles all fast track reviewable decisions related to Protection visas.

Common Visa Issues

There are a few common issues that can lead to a visa cancellation or refusal. When this happens, you could find yourself detained and deported. You may also be prohibited from applying for future visas. The most common visa refusal and cancellation issues include:

  • Failing the character test
  • Providing incorrect information
  • Breaching visa terms
  • Health concerns

What to Do if Your Visa is Refused or Cancelled

If your visa is refused or cancelled, make sure you respond quickly by getting the assistance of a registered immigration agent. They can prevent possible delays or issues that can lead to visa denials. Whether you’re just starting the application process or have been refused or cancelled already, Emergico can help. Get in touch now for advice or take our free online visa eligibility assessment.

Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)