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 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?

All reviews about a protection (refugee) visa are processed as a priority.

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.

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 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 process take?

For decisions made between 1 October 2018 and 31 March 2019

The time it takes us to finalise an application will depend on a range of factors including when you lodged the review, the type of review and its complexity.

The following table gives a guide as to how long it might take based on actual processing times for a recent six month period. The table shows average and median processing times from lodgement to decision by case category for that time period. The table is a guide only and does not guarantee that any individual matter will be heard in these timeframes.

Processing times for decisions made between 1/10/18 and 31/03/19
  Calendar days from lodgement to decision
Case category Decisions Within 365 days Average Median
Protection 2051 38% 507 494

Note: The average is the sum of all processing days divided by the number of cases processed. The median is the middle value of days, that is, the number of processing 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.