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Federal Circuit Court

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    Federal Circuit Court

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    Decision makers under immigration law include the Minister and members of AAT and IAA (decision makers). These decision makers will see the benefits of the application and whether they need to get a visa. Please note that we do not provide federal judicial services, only if your visa is denied and you want to appeal to AAT.

    The court can only consider a decision to determine if there was a “law error”. This means that the court decides whether the decision was made in accordance with the law. The court is independent of the decision maker. The court will not consider the benefits of your application or whether you need to obtain a visa.

    If the court finds an error in jurisprudence, it can:

    • Refer your case to the decision maker.
    • Prevent the minister from reacting to the decision.

    The court cannot:

    • Review the facts and reasons for your visa application.
    • consider new factual information (unrelated to the question of whether the decision maker has committed a judicial error)
    • grant a visa

    If you don’t like the decision, you can go to court if you believe there is a jurisdictional error. You should seek legal advice before applying

    As a rule, court sessions are open to the public. In certain cases, a closed hearing may be required. If your case involves a decision to grant a protection visa, the court is not authorized to release your identity.


    You must file a review request within 35 days of the decision to move. The court may extend the time limit. If an extension of time is required, you must state it in your request and explain why. The court will decide whether to grant an extension of time.

    To request a decision review, you must complete the following:

    You can obtain these documents from the court’s website or from the court office. To help you write an affidavit

    Your request should identify what legal error you believe the decision maker made. In your affidavit, you must explain all the facts and circumstances related to the alleged error. You must attach a copy of the decision to be reviewed and any reasons for the decision to your affidavit.

    You must complete all sections of the application; Otherwise, it can be returned to you for completion.

    You must file the lawsuit and supporting documents with the court. You can file court documents in person, by mail or in some cases, by fax or email. Be sure to submit the original with two additional copies. The court will keep the originals and return the sealed copies to you.

    You must pay the filing fee and additional fees for the final hearing. Fees do not apply in some cases; for example, if you have a government concession card number or if you can demonstrate financial hardship. More information about fees is available on this website or contact the court office.

    After filing, you must provide a sealed copy of your petition and supporting documents to the Minister and in most cases to the Court that made the decision. This process is called document service. You can serve Ministerial documents through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Ministry). The Department has offices in each capital.

    The court will set a date and time for your hearing. On the first day of hearing, the Court may issue orders and instructions:

    • an immediate hearing
    • second or last court date
    • suspension or temporary (temporary) order
    • submit amendments and supplements.

    if the court requests an immediate hearing or a second hearing before the final hearing, the court may ask you to prove that you have a contested case. If you cannot prove that you have a contestable case, the court may dismiss your request without a final hearing.

    At each hearing, the court will give you an opportunity to resolve issues related to your case. If you have a lawyer, they will talk to you. The minister will usually be represented by an attorney, and you or your attorney will have the opportunity to answer what is said in court.

    The court usually announces its decision at the end of the final hearing. Otherwise, you will be notified of the date the Court will issue its decision.

    Legal costs are the fees and expenses charged to a client by their lawyer. Generally the unsuccessful party has to pay the legal costs of the successful party. If the Court dismisses your application you will probably have to pay the Department`s legal costs. The total cost will depend on the length of the case and the amount of work done. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 sets out the legal costs that ordinarily apply. The Federal Court rules are available at

    https://www.legislation.gov.au If you choose to close your case without a hearing, you will usually have to pay a portion of the reduced legal fees.

    Withdrawing your case

    If you decide to withdraw your claim, you must complete the Notice of Waiver and file it with the Court. You must also send a copy of the notice to advise the Minister. If there are less than 14 days left until the final hearing, you must ask the court for permission to drop your case.

    The legal issues involved in reviewing migration decisions are often complex. You should seek legal advice on your claim as soon as possible. You can get free advice from a legal aid office or community legal center. Otherwise, you will have to choose your own attorney and pay for the service.