Partner visa refused. Appeal? Apply again? It depends!


Ross McDougall Immigration Lawyer.

If your partner visa application has been refused, you often need to decide whether to appeal, or to apply again.

It’s usually possible to have a refusal decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

An AAT Tribunal member will look at your partner visa application again.  They make a new decision about the factor your application was refused on. The Tribunal may agree with the refusal decision of the immigration department.

Or, they may disagree with the refusal decision, change the decision, and send your application back to the department for further processing.

Apply Again?

If you have applied in Australia for a partner visa and the application has been refused, you cannot apply again from within Australia for a partner visa.  You would have to go offshore (outside Australia) to lodge a new partner visa application.

However, if you lodged an offshore partner visa application and it was refused you could apply again from offshore.


But, it can be a better strategy to appeal that refusal decision to the AAT.  When is it better to appeal? – when there is a good chance of success for the appeal. Sometimes there has been an error made in the refusal decision and this can be changed on appeal.

But, that’s not always the case.

Some refusals decisions are very difficult to have changed on appeal.  For example, if you lodged a partner visa application in Australia and at that time you were unlawful or had held a bridging visa for more than 28 days, then you have what is called a ‘schedule 3’ problem.

Yes, it can be possible for ‘schedule 3’ cases to be successful at the Tribunal, but many are not.

If you are in this situation it can be better to leave Australia and lodge a new partner visa application from offshore.  The outcome is then likely to be more certain. However, it all depends upon the facts of your particular situation.

So, you should get experienced advice when deciding whether to appeal a refusal or to apply again. Everybody’s situation is different.  Sometimes it’s definitely best to appeal, other times it’s best to apply again.

I can assist you to make that decision, with honest, accurate advice.

Feel free to contact me to arrange a telephone or a face-to-face consultation.

Ross McDougall

Immigration Lawyer

Comments are closed.