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Posted on December 19 2022

Australian visa decisions to be reviewed by a new body replacing AAT in 2023

By  Editor
Updated August 24 2023

Highlights: AAT to be shut down; Australian visa decisions to be handed over to a new body in 2023

  • The AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) will be scrapped in 2023.
  • A new body will take up the functions of AAT by the end of 2023.
  • Decisions related to Australian visa issuance and migration will be transferred to the new body.

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The shutdown of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has been decided and will be happening in 2023. In the place of AAT, a new body will be constituted and functions transferred to it by the end of 2023.

What’s the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?

The AAT is responsible for holding independent review of the merits of administrative decisions that are made under Commonwealth laws. The AAT is tasked with reviewing decisions made by:

  • Australian Government ministers
  • Agencies and departments
  • Bodies under state government and non-government ones (in limited circumstances).

The AAT has been operational since 1976. Along with the review of decisions of various types, it also reviews decisions made in relation to Australian visa issuance, migration, and refugee visas.

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What has happened to AAT?

The current Australian government has decided to scrap the AAT and replace it with another body that will take over all the functions it has been handling. The move was motivated by the need for integrity in AAT’s functioning and the removal of mismanagement.

The new body that will replace the AAT will be functional by the end of 2023. Though this is the scenario, the cases currently before the AAT won’t be affected by this new step taken by the Australian government.

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This impending change is expected to solve the issue of a large number of backlogs in the review of Australian visa decisions among many other issues to be resolved. The aim of the decision to replace the AAT with another body can probably be summed up in the words of an Independent MP of Australia, Sophie Scamps, regarding this new development.

"People need to be able to trust our democracy and the decisions being made by these institutions and that means ensuring there is an open, transparent, merit-based, and independent process for government appointments,"
Sophie Scamps, Independent MP of Australia

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