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What happens after I lodge my application?

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

We 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:

You can also watch our video guide for an overview of the process.

There is more information about the review of specific types of decisions 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.

There is 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.

Documents relevant to the review

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

You can access information and documents in relation to the review.

You can 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?

If the review is about a decision made under section 197D of the Migration Act 1958 that a protection finding would no longer be made about a person, we must make a decision on the review within 120 days after we receive your application unless we extend that period with your agreement.

For other reviews about protection visa decisions, 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. There was a large increase in the number of applications for reviews in the Migration & Refugee Division in earlier years (see our Statistics) and we were not able to keep pace with the increase in our workload with the resources available to us. This has impacted on the time it takes us to complete reviews.

The following table sets out the average time 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 time for finalising reviews between 01/11/21 and 30/04/22
Case category Average calendar days from lodgement to finalisation
Protection 884


  • This figure does 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.