If you, or the person that you wish to sponsor, has received a negative decision for an application, you may have the right to apply for merits review at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

What is Merits Review?

A merits review is a reassessment of a decision made by a primary decision-maker (in this case, the Department of Home Affairs). When the AAT conducts a merits review, it will reassess the application by stepping in the shoes of the Department of Home Affairs and make a fresh decision by applying the law to the facts of the case.

The AAT may make the same decision as the Department, or it may make a different decision. Alternately, it may remit (return) the application to the Department of Home Affairs for reconsideration with specific directions.

When you apply for merits review at the AAT, you will have the opportunity to present new information or evidence to support your application.

Time limitations for Merits Review

There are time limitations for applying for merits review of a negative decision. In most cases, where the decision relates to an application to become a sponsor, an application to nominate a person, or an application for a temporary visa where the person is sponsored by an organisation, the application for merits review must be made within 21 days.

Other types of decisions may have different time limitations. It is important to obtain legal advice to understand your rights to seek merits review and the time limitation that applies.

Have you been affected by a negative decision? Contact us today to find out how we can help.