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New Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) Process

Written By Michael Walker
Mon, Nov 13, 2017
Michael Walker

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT); Migration and Refugee Division (MRD), has recently instigated a new process in the management of its migration decisions review caseload.

Known as a ‘callover’, the AAT will now invite review applicants to a preliminary session to be held at the AAT, with the objective of determining the following:

  • what kind of evidence the review applicant is relying upon;
  • the timeline for submission of supporting documents;
  • whether the review applicant intends to bring any witnesses to the hearing
  • whether the AAT will issue an invitation to provide further information under section 359(2) of the Migration Act
  • the scheduling of a hearing.


It is important to note that the ‘callover’ is not a formally constituted hearing, with the objective of determining all of the facts, which may lead the Tribunal to make a decision on the review application. Rather, the ‘callover’ is instigated with the aim of determining whether a formal hearing is required. This provides the Tribunal with a guide to the evidence which may be led and accordingly, determines the manner in which any formal hearing may be conducted in the future.

Also, review applicants need to be aware that your ‘callover’ may be one of several cases to be dealt with over a period which will generally run for two hours.  Therefore, review applicants need to understand the time that they may need to spend at the Tribunal for the ‘callover’ process.

It is not clear as to why the AAT has introduced the ‘callover’ process.  However, following cuts to this area in last May’s Federal Budget, the number of sitting Tribunal members was cut from 75 to 55.  Accordingly, it may be that the ‘callover’ process has been introduced, with a view to streamlining the processing of review applications.

If you currently have a pending matter before the Tribunal or considering seeking a review of a primary decision to refuse or cancel a visa, by lodging a review application with AAT, please feel free to contact one of our experienced and registered Migration Agents.

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