You can access:

Accessing written material under section 362A is separate to the right to access documents under FOI. We have a table that lists the main differences.


Access to information without a formal request

You can access certain information from your file without a formal request, for example:

  • original documents you have sent us
  • copies of letters we have sent you
  • a copy of the audio recording of any hearing
  • our decision and statement of reasons for the decision.

Access to written material under section 362A of the Migration Act

Subject to certain limitations, you can access written material given or produced to us in relation to the review by making a request under section 362A of the Migration Act.

Written material generally includes our review file and the Department of Home Affairs file that is held by us. You cannot access this material once a review has been finalised.

How do I request access to written material under section 362A?

There is no cost to make a request under section 362A.

Processing section 362A requests

Section 362A requests are less formal and can be quicker to process than an FOI request.

We will usually make a decision:

  • within 14 days of your request if the review has been allocated to a Member
  • within 30 days of your request if the review has not yet been allocated to a Member.

If we cannot make a decision in this period, we will tell you when we think a decision will be made.

There might be delays in processing your request if the written material contains information about a third party. You can help by giving us that person’s consent by filling in and sending us the Consent to release personal information under s.362A of the Migration Act form.

Appeal or review rights

You cannot appeal a decision made under section 362A of the Migration Act.

You can make an FOI request for access to documents or make a new section 362A request.


Access to material under FOI

How to make an FOI request

If you cannot access written material under section 362A, or you want to access material other than written material given or produced to us for the purposes of the review, you can make a request under FOI.

Your request must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • give us information about the documents you wish to access so that we can process your request
  • give us an address so we can reply to you.

To make a request, you can use:

Fees and Charges

There is no application fee for an FOI request.

We might charge you a fee if your request is for information other than your own personal information. We will write to you if we decide to do this.

Processing FOI requests

We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request and give you our decision within 30 days, unless that time has been extended.

If a document contains information about a third party, we might need to consult with them and extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days.

If your request is complex we might seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days or apply to the Australian Information Commissioner for an extension of time.

Appeal or review rights

You can appeal our decision by making a request in writing for an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another AAT officer. We will advise you of the new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original FOI decision, or our decision on internal review, within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party).

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).


Should I make a request for access to documents under s.362A or the FOI Act?

The following table lists the main differences. 

 

Access to documents under s.362A

Access to documents under FOI

Fees and charges

There are no fees to access written material.

We may charge a fee to access a document.

Information that can be accessed

Only written material given or produced to us in relation to the review, subject to certain limitations.

Any document held by us can be accessed, subject to certain exemptions.

When material can be accessed

Only available in a review of a migration decision that is not finalised.

Every person has the right to request access to documents held by us at any time.

Requesting access to information

In writing, or by filling in a Request for access to written material held by the tribunal under section 362A of the Migration Act form.

Access to documents must be made in writing, or by filling in Request for documents under the FOI Act form.

Processing times

There are no prescribed time periods to process s.362A requests.

We must make a decision within 30 days, unless an extension of time is granted under the FOI Act.

Appeal or review rights

There are no formal appeal or review rights. You can make a further request during the course of the review, or request information through FOI Act.

An application for internal review can be made to us. Our decision can be reviewed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.