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What happens after I lodge the application?

We will send you a confirmation letter explaining what will happen next.

The review process will be expedited if:

  • you are applying for a review of a decision under either section 501 or 501CA of the Migration Act 1958
  • you are the visa applicant or person whose visa has been cancelled, and
  • you are in Australia.

Our letter will include dates and times for a telephone directions hearing and the hearing. We will also call you within 1 week after receiving the application to talk about what will happen next. 

In expedited applications we must make a decision within 12 weeks after the day on which you were notified of the decision. Please read the Expedited review of decisions under section 501 or 501CA of the Migration Act 1958 fact sheet for more information about what happens after you lodge the application.

We also notify the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) that we have received the application.

You and the Minister for Home Affairs or the Minister for Immigration (the Minister) are parties to the review.

We have a video guide which explains more about what usually happens after you lodge an application.

What if we cannot review the decision?

We will write to you and give you an opportunity to tell us why you think we can review the decision. If you do not respond or cannot show us that we can review the decision, we might dismiss the application. Sometimes a hearing is held to decide if we can review the decision.

Documents relevant to the review

T documents

If the review is not expedited, the Department will send us the decision and all relevant review documents within 28 days after being told the application has been received. These are called ‘T documents’.

They will also send the T documents to you. If you have a representative, the T documents will usually be sent to that person.

T documents are provided under section 37 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

Confidential T Documents

The Minister can apply to the AAT for a direction that certain content within the T documents is not to be disclosed to you. We will consider any application and tell you our decision.

Request the T documents earlier

You can ask for the T documents to be provided earlier if a delay would cause you hardship. You must use the Request for order to shorten time for lodging documents form. We will consider any request and tell you our decision.

Giving us new information

You can give us new information that you think supports your case.

Confidentiality orders

In limited circumstances, we can order that:

  • the hearing is held in private
  • the name or address of a party or witness, or other information that we hold, be kept confidential
  • a written decision is not made public.

You or the Minister can apply for a confidentiality order at any stage of the review by telling us in writing what it is that you want to be kept confidential and why.

We will only make a confidentiality order if we are satisfied there is a good reason for doing so.

Alternative dispute resolution

In applications that are not expedited, we use alternative dispute resolution (ADR)  to:

  • talk with the parties to the review about the decision that has been made and the issues in dispute
  • if possible, help the parties to reach an agreement before a hearing
  • if an agreed outcome cannot be reached, prepare for a hearing.

We will usually hold a conference first. Many cases are resolved without the need for a hearing.

You can look at the Alternative dispute resolution guidelines for more information.

Directions Hearing

We might decide to hold a directions hearing by telephone or in person at the AAT’s offices to talk about any issue in the review. This could happen if you or the Minister ask for it, or if we decide it is necessary.


The hearing is an opportunity for you to present information and talk about why you disagree with the decision under review.