The Refugee Review Tribunal (the tribunal) is a statutory body that reviews decisions made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the department) to refuse or cancel a protection visa.

In conducting a review the tribunal considers afresh whether the applicant is a person to whom Australia has protection obligations:

Further information on the tribunal and the review process can be found in tribunal information sheet R7 Complementary Protection and from the tribunal website at

Who can apply for review?

If a decision is made not to grant you a protection visa, or to cancel a protection visa, the department will notify you of that decision. The notification will tell you if you have a right to apply to the tribunal for a review of the decision.

Some decisions cannot be reviewed by the tribunal. In those cases, the department’s letter will tell you about other review rights.

When must I apply for review?

If you wish to apply for review of a decision you should act quickly. The tribunal cannot extend the time limits set out below.

When am I taken to have been notified?

The date you are taken to have been notified depends on how you were notified by the department of the decision.

If the notice of the decision was sent by fax or email, you are taken to have been notified at the end of the day on which the notification was sent.

If the notice of the decision was given by hand, you are taken to have been notified when it was handed to you or your authorised recipient.

If the notice of decision was sent by post, you are taken to have been notified 7 working days after the date of the notification letter.

If you authorised a person to receive correspondence in relation to your protection visa application that person is known as your authorised recipient. You are taken to be notified when your authorised recipient is notified by the department.

How do I apply to the tribunal for review?

You must complete form R1 Application for review to the Refugee Review Tribunal. You can get this form from one of the tribunal offices (registries) or print a copy from the tribunal website.

You may supply other documents to support your application for review. Any documents that are not in English should be translated into English by a qualified translator. You should provide both the original documents and the translations.

Should I seek advice about my application?

The tribunal is committed to ensuring that the outcome of your application does not depend on whether you have obtained professional advice or assistance. However you may seek advice and assistance and there are many organisations and individuals who can provide this.

With limited exceptions (such as a close family member, a parliamentarian, or a public servant in the course of their duties) immigration assistance can only be provided by a registered migration agent.

For the purposes of your review application to the tribunal, immigration assistance means using knowledge or experience of migration procedure to assist in preparing, advising or representing you in relation to your case.

More information about immigration assistance and registered migration agents is contained in tribunal information sheet MR2 Immigration assistance. Information about migration agents can be obtained from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA) website at

What does an application for review cost?

There is no fee to be paid when you apply for review. However, you will be required to pay a fee if your review application is not successful.

For applications lodged on or after 1 July 2013 the fee payable is $1604.

Where do I send my application?

Applications for review can be lodged at any of the tribunal’s registries, or the registries of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT) listed at the end of this information sheet.

Applications for review can also be lodged online from 31 January 2014. For further information, please see the ‘Method of lodgement and contact’ section below.

How will the tribunal contact me?

You may choose to nominate a person known as an authorised recipient to receive correspondence on your behalf. If you do not nominate an authorised recipient, all correspondence will be sent to you. The tribunal will only send a copy of correspondence to a review applicant as well as sending the correspondence to the review applicant’s authorised recipient where a review applicant has nominated a migration agent as his or her representative or authorised recipient, and that migration agent’s registration has been suspended or cancelled or has lapsed. If a fax number is provided to the tribunal, the tribunal will generally send correspondence to that fax number. The tribunal may send correspondence by post, by e-mail or by giving it by hand.

What happens after I lodge my application for review?

The tribunal will send you a letter confirming that it has received your application and invite you to send any documents, information or other evidence you want the tribunal to consider.

The tribunal will ask the department to send us its documents relating to your case. The tribunal will also assess the validity of your application. The tribunal can only review a decision if a valid application for review has been made. The tribunal will advise you if it appears that your application may not be valid.

When the tribunal is ready to consider your application, we may write to you again to get information or to ask you to comment on adverse information that the tribunal considers relevant.

If you do not provide this information or comments to the tribunal within the time specified, the tribunal may make a decision on your case without further notice and without offering you a hearing.

How is the decision made?

After considering the department’s documents and any further information you have given the tribunal, the tribunal will usually invite you to attend a hearing. The tribunal will not hold a hearing if it can decide the case in your favour on the material before it, or if you consent to the tribunal deciding the case without a hearing. The tribunal may not offer a hearing if you fail to give comments or information within a specified time period following a particular request by the tribunal.

At the hearing, you will be asked questions and you will have an opportunity to give oral evidence and present arguments in support of your claims. The tribunal will make its decision after considering the information before it, including information you give at the hearing and any relevant information from other sources available to the tribunal.

How will I find out about the hearing?

If you are invited to a hearing, the tribunal will send a letter inviting you to a hearing and giving you a hearing date. A form will be enclosed with the letter asking you to confirm the hearing date in writing and to provide details of anyone you want the tribunal to take evidence from to support your case.

Who will be at the hearing?

You may bring a representative or adviser to help you. The tribunal is not required to allow that person to argue your case for you. However, the tribunal usually lets them speak in your favour before the close of the hearing. You may also bring a friend or relative to support you. More information about hearings is contained in tribunal information sheet R18 Information About Refugee Review Tribunal Hearings.

Can I have an interpreter?

If you or your witnesses need help communicating at the hearing, the tribunal will provide a qualified interpreter and pay for the services of the interpreter.

The Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) can provide assistance for non-English speakers in contacting the tribunal. Their telephone number is 131 450.

When will the decision be made?

As each case is different it is difficult to say how long it will take for the tribunal to make a decision on your case. The tribunal aims to decide all RRT cases within 90 days of receiving the department’s documents.

In some cases, the tribunal member may announce the decision at the end of the hearing. If so, you will be sent a copy of the decision and reasons for the decision within 14 days after the hearing. However, in most cases a decision will not be made at the end of the hearing but will be given to you at a later date.

How will the information provided to the tribunal be used?

The information provided to the tribunal will be used to assess your review application. Any information provided to the tribunal during the review process may be provided to other participants in proceedings or to other individuals or organisations for the purpose of reviews, for example, when seeking expert opinion or assessment. In certain circumstances the tribunal may also provide information about your application to other government and non-government individuals or organisations. These include the department, the Office of the MARA, courts and tribunals and law enforcement agencies.

Hearings at the tribunal are held in private and are not open to the public.

Some of the tribunal’s decisions are published. Published decisions do not contain names or any details which may identify an applicant or member of an applicant’s family.

What if I want to make a comment or a complaint?

Our Service Charter sets out our standards of service and is available on the tribunal website. You can help us by telling us what you like about your dealings with us or where you think we can improve. If you wish to make a comment or compliment, you can tell the officer who is dealing with your case, call our national enquiry number, or write to the Executive Officer at GPO Box 1333, Sydney NSW 2001.

If you wish to make a complaint because you are not satisfied with how we have dealt with a matter or with the standard of service you have received, and you have not been able to resolve this by contacting the officer dealing with your case, you may forward a written complaint marked ‘confidential’ to the Complaints Officer at GPO Box 1333, Sydney NSW 2001.

Important – Change in contact details

You should tell us immediately if you change your address or your telephone number or if there is any change in the name or address of your authorised recipient. It is also important that you inform your authorised recipient of any change in your contact details. If you do not, you might not receive an invitation to a hearing or other important information and your case may be decided without further notice. You should also inform the department of any change in these details.

You can advise us in writing of your change of details, or complete form MR6 Change of contact details that is available from the tribunal website.

Method of lodgement and contact

By hand

Applications can be lodged by hand at either a Registry of the Tribunal or, in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, at a registry of the Administrative Appeal Tribunal listed below. Applications for review can be lodged on weekdays between 8:30am and 5:00pm in the following locations:

Refugee Review Tribunal
Level 11, 83 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Refugee Review Tribunal

Level 10, 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Refugee Review Tribunal
c/– Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 4, Harry Gibbs Building, Commonwealth Law Courts
119 North Quay, Brisbane QLD 4000

Refugee Review Tribunal
c/– Administrative Appeals Tribunal
11th Floor, Chesser House, 91 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Refugee Review Tribunal
c/– Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 5, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

By post or by fax

Applications for review can be posted or faxed to:

Refugee Review Tribunal
GPO Box 1333, Sydney NSW 2001
Fax: (02) 9276 5599

Refugee Review Tribunal
PO Box 14158, Melbourne VIC 8001
Fax: (03) 8600 5801


From 31 January 2014, applications for review can be lodged online at the following internet address. If applicable, the full fee must be paid at the time of lodgement when lodging online.



Tribunal website               

National telephone enquiry number        1300 361 969

NSW Registry                         (02) 9276 5000

VIC Registry                                 (03) 8600 5900