This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide for individuals appealing a visa 500 decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in Australia. It will cover the following aspects:


  • What is the AAT and how does the appeals process work?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent body that reviews decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs Australia, including visa refusals. If your visa 500 application was rejected, you can appeal the decision to the AAT. The appeals process involves lodging an appeal form and providing evidence to support your case. In some cases, the AAT may schedule a hearing to hear arguments from both sides. Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

  • Importance of legal advice and understanding grounds for refusal.

A qualified lawyer or migration agent can provide you with specialized legal advice and help you understand the most common grounds for refusal for visa 500 appeals. This will increase your chances of success in the appeals process.

  • Appeal Success Rate:

According to AAT statistics, more than 5,970 cases of student visas were lodged and appeals during the 2023-2024 financial year were 32% of them have any answer.

  • Grounds for Refusal:

A detailed analysis of some of the most common reasons why the AAT might reject a visa 500 appeal is provided below:

  1. Poor academic record:
    • Excessive time in Australia without progress in studies or language proficiency.
    • VET courses on the Department of Home Affairs’ negative list.
    • Poor attendance in classes.
  1. Excessive working hours:
    • Visa 500 students are only permitted to work 24 hours per week during the class period and 48 hours per week during the holidays. Visa 500 Conditions
    • Exceeding the working hours limit may be considered a breach of visa conditions.


  1. Legal issues:
    • The AAT will have access to your police record, ATO debts, and even traffic fines.
    • Any legal issues, particularly criminal convictions of 12 months or more, could lead to refusal and deportation.


  1. Expressing intentions to stay in Australia:
    • Avoid openly stating your intention to stay in Australia during interviews or applications to Home Affairs unless you are formally applying for a residence visa.
    • Expressing such intentions could be interpreted as abuse of the current visa.


  1. Inconsistent visa history:
    • A pattern of applications for different types of visas may be seen as a sign that your primary goal is to remain in Australia and not comply with the conditions of each visa.


  1. Irrelevant arguments:
    • Arguing that you deserve a visa due to social, economic, or political problems in your home country is not valid for the AAT.
    • The AAT will only focus on whether you meet the specific criteria for the visa 500 and whether you have complied with the conditions of your current visa.


  • Appeal Costs and Timeframes:
  1. Costs:
    • Application fee: AUD 1,082 (non-refundable).
    • Legal fees: Vary depending on the complexity of the case and the experience of the professional.
    • Other costs: Document translation or interpreter assistance.


  1. Timeframes:
    • You must lodge an application for review within 28 days after the notification of the decision.
    • Lodging the appeal: Appeal form and fee payment.
    • Evidence: Submitting documents, statements, and legal arguments to support your case.
    • Hearing: In some cases, the AAT may schedule a hearing.
    • Decision: The AAT generally makes a decision within 6 months, but this may vary depending on the complexity of the case.

Additional Resources:


Navigating the AAT appeals process can be complex. To increase your chances of a successful appeal, it’s crucial to understand the grounds for refusal, gather strong supporting evidence, and potentially seek professional legal guidance.

For expert assistance throughout your visa 500 appeal with the AAT, contact the experienced migration agents at Ames Group. Ames Group boasts a proven track record of success in helping clients navigate complex immigration matters. Visit their website at / to learn more about their services and schedule a consultation today. Don’t let a visa refusal hinder your Australian dreams – take control of the situation