Unsuccessful subclass 309 applicants can now apply for a review of that refusal decision themselves.

On 24 November 2023, Australian immigration law changed with regard to who can apply for a review of an unsuccessful subclass 309 application.


Prior to this amendment:

  • If a refusal decision for a subclass 309 offshore partner visa application was received, only the Australian sponsor (not the visa applicant) could apply for a review of that refusal decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).


Since this amendment, unsuccessful subclass 309 visa applicants can apply for a review of that refusal decision (merits review) at the AAT.


This is an extract from the ‘Explanatory Memorandum’ about this amendment:


‘The (amendments) also provide for a Subclass 309 visa applicant to have standing to apply for merits review directly, rather than the sponsor.  This facilitates access to merits review for applicants who may be affected by circumstance such as family violence and to align with the onshore Subclass 820 visa which provides standing to the applicant rather than the sponsor.’



This is a positive development for unsuccessful subclass 309 visa applicants.


Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.



Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.



This information is correct at January 29th, 2024.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

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