Virtual hearings in the Administrative Appeal Tribunal

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In most cases if a Nomination for an Employer sponsored Visa is refused, the case would go to the Administrative AppealTribunal for the review.  Usually the sponsor would be represented in Tribunal by a migration agent. However, some businesses decide to represent themselves in the Tribunal.  This could be challenging even in normal course of events when the hearings are conducted in person. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic the AAT ceased ‘face-to-face’ hearings and now conducts them via audio or visual calls.

In this article we discuss the specific of virtual hearing.

The video hearing could be used to insure the integrity of the hearing for complex cases, with the number of parties, witnesses and interpreters involved, or photographic evidence and other types of information presented.

If a video hearing is preferred, the Support Officer will contact the applicants on their preferred telephone numbers to ensure that all the participants have the appropriate technology.

To attend the hearing all participants must have appropriate equipment: computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone with connected microphone, speaker and webcam. A broadband internet connection is required. If a mobile device is being used, then a 4G or 5G connection is strongly recommended.

Following the decision to proceed, a Hearing Invitation will be sent.

The Hearing Invitation Response Form is required to be completed in full and returned within seven days of receipt.  The Tribunal should be provided with detailed information about witnesses and the documents that the applicants wish to rely on at the hearing, as well as whether there are any reasons as to why the hearing should not proceed by audio or video.

The Member will then decide whether to proceed with an audio or video hearing or alternatively postpone the hearing until an in-person hearing is possible.

At least 48 hours prior to the video hearing the Tribunal will contact all participants to test the technology.

If the Member decides to proceed, a link will be forwarded via email to all participants required to attend the hearing.

All relevant documents and all additional information such as changes in circumstances must be submitted seven days prior to the hearing. The Member may arrange for a document to be shared on the screen during the video hearing.

During an audio or video hearing participants will not be expected to stand when the Member enters and exits the hearing.

All participants must identify themself before they speak for audio and video hearings. They should avoid speaking over other participants except where that is essential.

For video hearings, participants should dress as if attending an in-person hearing. The participant‘s screen should be set at a height so they are looking straight at it.

If necessary, the Member will announce an adjournment and a time to reconvene, and then ask participants to end the call. At the arranged resumption time the Tribunal will dial all participants back into the hearing.

Recordings of the hearings can be requested as usual.

For questions about Australian visas and Immigration matters please contact a Registered Migration Agent Yana Asmalovskaya                                              

Mobile: 0413392894  Email: yana@becomeaustralian.com

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