When will I receive the decision?

We usually make a decision after conducting a hearing. You will receive our decision at the end of the hearing or in writing at a later date.

We might make a decision without conducting a hearing if:

  • we decide we have no jurisdiction to review the decision
  • the case can be decided in your favour based on the information we have
  • you do not respond to a request to give us information or comments by the date we tell you
  • you agree to us deciding the review without appearing at a hearing.

We will send you the decision in writing.

Look at the Information about decisions fact sheet for more information. You can also watch our video guide.

Oral decision at the end of the hearing

We might tell you our decision and the reasons for that decision, or just tell you our decision, at the end of the hearing. This is called an oral decision.

We will send you and the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) a notice that sets out our decision without written reasons.

If the AAT Member tells you the reasons for the decision at the hearing and you want a written copy of the reasons, you must ask us for them within 14 days after the oral decision was given. A copy is sent to you and the Department.

If the AAT Member does not tell you the reasons at the hearing, they will send you and the Department the written reasons for the oral decision at a later date.

Decision in writing

If we do not tell you our decision at the hearing we will send you a notice of the decision and the written reasons.

A copy is also sent to the Department.


What does the decision mean?

We can make the following decisions:

  • Affirm the decision: the decision is not changed
  • Vary the decision: the decision is changed
  • Set aside the decision and substitute a new decision: the decision is replaced with a new decision
  • Remit the decision: the matter is sent back to the Department to make a new decision.

We can also make the following decisions:

  • No jurisdiction to review the decision: we cannot undertake a review because it is not a valid application
  • Confirm the decision to dismiss the application because you did not attend the hearing: the decision is not changed.  

What happens next?

The Department is responsible for implementing our decision. 

If you are in Australia and not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, your immigration status may change following our decision.

The Information about decisions fact sheet contains more information about happens to a bridging visa associated with the application that was the subject of our review.

If you have any questions about your immigration status, you should contact the Department.


What if I do not agree with the decision?

If you think our decision is wrong you can appeal to the Federal Circuit Court, but only on a question of law.

An appeal to the Federal Circuit Court must be made within 35 days after the date of our decision.


Is the decision made public?

We publish a selection of our decisions with written reasons on the AustLII website.

In cases about protection (refugee) visas, the published decision must not include names or other details which may identify an applicant or any relative or other dependant of the applicant.

Look at the Publication of decisions policy for more information about the decisions we publish.

If you are concerned about information that has been, or might be, published in a decision, you can apply to us not to publish some information or the entire decision. Write to us stating what you want kept confidential and why. If we are satisfied it is in the public interest, we can decide to:

  • edit a decision to remove information
  • not publish a decision, or
  • recall a published decision.