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What happens after I lodge my application?

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

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

More information about what usually happens after you lodge your application can be found in the following documents:

You can also watch our video guide.

More information about the review of specific types of decisions can be found in our fact sheets.

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 it appears the application is not valid, we might decide that we have no jurisdiction to review the decision.

Can the review be processed as a priority?

You can ask us to process the review as a priority by writing to us, fully explaining your reasons and providing supporting evidence. 

Find more information in the Prioritising Cases in Migration and Refugee Division President’s Direction.

Can I travel overseas during the review?

If you want to travel overseas you must contact us before making any travel arrangements to check the status of the review.

If you have questions about your ability to travel or re-enter Australia or whether travel might affect your eligibility for a visa, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs. We cannot give you advice or information about this.

Assurance of Support

If a visa application requires an Assurance of Support (AoS), you must provide evidence to us that an AoS has been lodged with Centrelink. We are not responsible for assessing an AoS.

You should tell us the outcome of the AoS assessment as soon as possible, including if your assurer has lodged an application for review about the Centrelink AoS decision.

Documents relevant to the review

The Department provides us with all the relevant files and documents relating to the decision under review.

Check how you can access to information and documents in relation to the review.

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


The review will be allocated to a Member who will decide how to proceed. The Member is the person who will make a decision about the review.

Before the hearing we might:

  • ask you to give us further information
  • invite you to comment on any information that we consider would be the reason, or a part of the reason, for not changing the decision under review
  • invite you to nominate other persons who could give evidence or suggest other evidence or materials we might obtain.

We might make a decision without inviting you to a hearing if the case can be decided in your favour based on the information we have.


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

How long will the review process take?

The time it takes us to complete the review process depends on a range of factors, including the number of applications for review we receive, the number of members available to conduct reviews, the type of decision under review, the strategies we have in place for dealing with different caseloads, and the complexity of the review. Applications for reviews in the Migration and Refugee Division have more than doubled in recent years (see our Statistics). We have not been able to keep pace with the increase in our workload with the resources available to us. This has had an impact on the time it takes us to complete reviews.

The following table sets out the average times it took us to finalise reviews in a recent six month period. These statistics are a general guide only and we cannot guarantee that any individual review will be finalised within these timeframes.

Average times for finalising reviews between 01/11/21 and 30/04/22
Case category Average calendar days from lodgement to finalisation
Bridging 19
Family 707
Nomination/Sponsor approval 1,111
Partner 1,066
Permanent business 1,071
Skill linked 130
Student cancellation 444
Student refusal 679
Temporary work 1,119
Visitor 414
Other 561
Total for migration case categories 750


  • These figures do not include cases where the Tribunal found it did not have jurisdiction to review the decision. These are usually finalised more quickly than other reviews.
  • The average is the median for the cases finalised in the period: that is, the number of days which half of the cases exceeded and which half of the cases fell below.

Statistical information about monthly application lodgements, decisions and cases on hand is available.