Registered Migration Australia




Migration and Refugee Division (MRD):


The Migration and Refugee Division (MRD or MR Division) reviews decisions made by officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to refuse or cancel visas. It also reviews decision relating to approval and cancellation of sponsorship and nomination.


When your visa has been refused by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), you may be able to lodge an application for review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) formely known as the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT). The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), through the MRD, can consider your case afresh and allow you to present new information to the tribunal.

If the MRD affirms the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) refusal decision, you may lodge a request to the Minister for Immigration for intervention in your case or you may lodge an appeal to the Federal Court.

The department conducts regular checks to identify and locate people in the community who have breached their visa conditions or whose visas have expired. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your options as soon as possible. You have a choice; you can do something about your situation now, contact us to find out how.



The Migration and Refugee Division (MRD) process:


If the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) refuses an application for a visa, you can ask the Migration and Refugee Division (MRD) and the to review the decision. This includes decisions about:


  • visitor visas;
  • student visas;
  • partner visas;
  • family visas;
  • business visas or;
  • skilled visas.


This process is called ‘making an appeal’. There are strict time limits for making an appeal. Time limits depend on the type of decision and whether you are in immigration detention and the time limit cannot be extended. If you were on a bridging visa while your visa application was being processed it will remain in effect while your case is reviewed by the MRD. If you were on a substantive and it expires while the MRD is reviewing your case, you will be granted a bridging visa to allow you to stay in Australia lawfully while the MRD reviews your case.


Applying to the MRD is not free, there is a cost involved but that cost can be waiver where certain circumstances prevail.




MRD processing times:


While cases are generally allocated in priority and date of lodgement order, cases may from time to time be allocated out of order of lodgement as part of a taskforce or targeted approach.




The MRD process:


Cases vary from case to case, but generally speaking if you make a request to have your case reviewed the following will happen:



  • The MRD will send you an acknowledgement letter confirming that they received your application.
  • The MRD will inform DIBP and request from them the documents relevant to your file.
  • Your case will be allocated a Tribunal Member.
  • The Tribunal Member will review all the documents that DIBP provided them.
  • You may be invited to attend a hearing, and/or to provide information or to comment or respond to information.
  • The MRD will make a decision and inform both DIBP and yourself of the decision and its reasons.


Contact us to find out more.



The Refugee Review Process:

Decisions which could be reviewed in the former Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal are now reviewed in the Migration and Refugee Division. The Migration and Refugee Division (MRD or MR Division) reviews decisions made by officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to refuse or cancel visas. This tribunal looks at all the information and makes a fresh decision. The applicant can provide more evidence and the tribunal may hold a hearing.


The tribunal is not required to hold a hearing:


  • if a decision favouring the applicant can be made on the papers;
  • if the applicant waives the right to a hearing; or
  • if the applicant has been asked to provide additional information and has not provided that information.


In these last two cases, the tribunal may make a decision on the papers to affirm the primary decision. If the MRD decides the person meets the UN definition of a refugee or the complementary protection criteria, the MRD will refer the application back to the Department.


Contact us to find out more.



Ministerial Intervention

The minister for Immigration may intervene in your case where your application for a visa has been refused by the MRD. The Minister for Immigration has powers to personally intervene in your case where either a migration visa or refugee visa has been refused as long as compelling and compassionate circumstances exist.

You may be eligible for Medicare and apply for permission to work.



Federal Court

You may appeal to the Federal Court where a legal error exists after the Migration and Refugee Division (MRD) has affirmed a decision to refuse your visa.




Legal Disclaimer
This website is a public resource of general information which is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be complete, accurate, and up-to-date. This website is not intended to provide legal advice, and therefore, does not invite or create an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Nothing in this website is to be considered as either creating an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Registered Migration Australia or as rendering legal advice for any specific matter. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Registered Migration Australia expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.