Can you appeal a partner visa refusal? Usually yes, but not always.

Partner visa application refused? You can generally appeal that refusal decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The AAT will look closely at your partner visa application again and then make a new decision on your application. That new decision by the AAT could agree with the Immigration Department’s refusal decision (not good!) or disagree with the refusal decision and overturn it (good!).

The stages when partner visa applications can be refused

A partner visa application can potentially be refused at either:

  • the temporary partner visa stage – subclass 820 (application lodged onshore) or subclass 309 (application lodged offshore)


  • the permanent partner visa stage – subclass 801 (lodged onshore) or subclass 100 (lodged offshore)


In all refusals situations except for one, you can appeal a refusal decision to the AAT.

The one situation where you cannot appeal a refusal decision to the AAT is a refusal of a subclass 100 permanent partner visa application where the partner visa applicant was outside Australia at the time the subclass 100 refusal decicision was made.   There is no right of appeal in this situation.  That’s harsh.

How to avoid this

To avoid potentially finding yourself in this situation of a refusal of a subclass 100 visa application with no appeal right, if you are waiting for a decision on a subclass 100 application avoid travelling outside Australia until after you receive the decision.

That’s the safest option, and it ensures an appeal right if the subclass 100 application is refused.

Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this. Cheers.

Ross McDougall
Immigration Lawyer

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at October 30th, 2018.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Information (or the lack of it) contained here does not take into account anyone’s individual circumstances and should not be relied upon as immigration assistance or legal advice.

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