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AAT: Invitation for submissions to identify Partner and Family cases suitable for video hearings

Migration Alliance has received the following email from the AAT's Deputy President and Division Head:

As you’re aware, the Tribunal recently resumed limited in-person hearings at locations suitable for such arrangements, with the listing of in-person hearings considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the AAT’s practice directions. However, many MRD hearings will continue to be conducted by video/phone due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Further to discussion at our recent meetings, I am writing to invite submissions to identify review applications considered suitable for video hearings for Partner and Family cases lodged to the Tribunal prior to 1 April 2018. This initiative is a small trial to address the aging backlog and difficulties in arranging for in-person hearings for these cohorts of cases case due to the current situation arising from COVID-19. 

If your clients have applied for review of a decision to refuse to grant a Partner/Family visa, or of a decision to cancel such a visa, you should carefully consider the nature of the case and the parties’ circumstances, the written and oral evidence that you wish to present to the Tribunal, and make a written submission if you consider the case may be suitable to proceed to a hearing by video.  Please also consider your and your client’s access to the appropriate technology in order to facilitate a video hearing. Further details are set out below and also contained on the AAT’s website.

We would generally consider listing cases for video hearings where we have been provided with up to date evidence or where all necessary information can be provided expeditiously. We will consider all written submissions carefully, but there is no guarantee that all the nominated cases will be selected for listing within the next 3 months as this will depend on the number of submissions we receive. 

You should receive a hearing invitation for the nominated case by the end of November if we consider it appropriate to proceed with the hearing by video, we will not respond individually to each submission. 

The technical requirements for participating in a hearing by video are:

  • A computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone running Windows 7, Windows 10, Mac OS, iOS, iPadOS or Android
  • A stable high-speed internet connection (eg WiFi, Hotspot, ADSL+, NBN, 3G, 4G, 5G)
  • A webcam (built-in or standalone), speakers or a headphone, and a microphone
  • A quiet room with adequate lighting 

If you consider that your client’s case is suitable for a video hearing, please write to the Tribunal by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • using a subject line of ‘Video hearing suitability submission – [Partner]/[Family] [refusal]/[cancellation] - [case number] - [review applicant’s name]
  • stating the reasons why you think the case is suitable for a hearing by video
  • advising any dates when you are unavailable for hearing to the end of 2020, and
  • attaching any additional evidence if necessary. 

All written submissions should be provided to the Tribunal by 2 October 2020. I would be grateful if you would circulate this invitation amongst your colleagues.

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