What is Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA)?
The Immigration Assessment Authority (the IAA) was established in April 2015, as a separate office within the Refugee Review Tribunal. From 1 July 2015, the IAA became an independent authority within the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The IAA is independent of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and of the Minister.
The role of the IAA is to conduct reviews of fast track reviewable decisions. Fast track reviewable decisions are those decisions made by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, or delegate, to refuse to grant a protection visa to a fast track applicant.
A fast track applicant is someone who:
- entered Australia as an unauthorised maritime arrival on or after 13 August 2012 but before 1 January 2014
- has not been taken to a regional processing country
- has been allowed by the Minister to make a valid protection visa application
- lodges a valid protection visa application with the department after 18 April 2015.
A person may also be a fast track applicant if they are in a class of persons specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument.
Not all fast track applicants are entitled to a review of their decision by the IAA. The Department will advise fast track applicants whether the decision to refuse to grant a protection visa is excluded from review by the IAA. If the decision is excluded, then the IAA has no jurisdiction and the decision will not be referred to the IAA for review.
Practice Direction for Applicants, Representatives and Authorised Recipients
The president of IAA, Justice Duncan Kerr provided a practice direction on 21 April 2016 which is in effect from 2 May 2016 to help Applicants, Representatives and Authorised Recipients as follow:
“This direction is given under section 473FB of the Migration Act 1958 (Migration Act).
About this direction
1.The Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA), in carrying out its functions under the Migration Act, is required to provide a mechanism of limited review that is efficient, quick, free of bias and consistent with Division 3 of Part 7AA of the Migration Act.
2.The President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) may give directions as to the operations of the IAA and the conduct of reviews by the IAA.
3.This direction sets outtherequirementstobefollowedbyapplicants (you) andtheir representativesandauthorisedrecipientswhendealingwiththeIAA(us).
4.In this direction:
Department means the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
writing and correspondence include email.
5.This direction has effect from 2 May 2016.
6.The Practice Direction for Applicants, Representatives and Authorised Recipients executed on 16 September 2015 is revoked.
Communication with the IAA
7.Communication with us will be primarily by electronic means.
8.Where you give us an email address, all communication will generally be via email. Attachments to an email must be provided as Word documents or pdf files that can be opened and copied.
9.It is your responsibility to ensure that you give us a current email address and tell us immediately if your email address changes.
10.You may engage a person to represent or assist you in relation to the review.
11.If you notified the Department that a person was acting on your behalf during the primary application process, that notice does not apply to our review. If the person continues to act for you during the review, you must notify us as soon as possible after the matter is referred to us.
12.Your representative must also notify us in writing as soon as they commence or cease representing you.
13.A form for appointing a representative is available from our website www.iaa.gov.au. In the case of family groups, a form should be submitted for each family member for whom the representative is acting in relation to a review.
14.Generally, we expect that if you appoint a representative, that person will also be nominated as your authorised recipient.
15.You may appoint a person to receive correspondence on your behalf.
16.If you appoint a person to receive your correspondence, we will send correspondence about your review to that person and not to you.
17.To appoint a person to receive your correspondence, you must notify us in writing of the person’s name and contact details.
18.If you appointed a person to receive correspondence from the Department on your behalf, that appointment does not apply to our review. If you want the person to continue to receive your correspondence during the review, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible after the matter is referred to us. You must also give us an email address for your authorised recipient.
19.A form for appointing an authorised recipient is available from our website www.iaa.gov.au. In the case of family groups, a form should be submitted for each family member for whom an authorised recipient is to be appointed.
Submissions and new information
20.For the purposes of the review, you may provide a written submission on the following:
- why you disagree with the decision of the Department
- any claim or matter that you presented to the Department that was overlooked.
21.Any submission must be concise. It should identify and address the issues you want us to consider in our review. Your submission should be no longer than 5 pages and should be provided to us within 21 days of your case being referred to us by the Department. We may return longer submissions. If we return your submission we will give you a short deadline by which to provide a revised submission that complies with this direction. If you do not comply with that deadline we will make our decision without the benefit of your submissions.
22.We can only consider new information (information that was not before the Department) in very limited circumstances as set out in section 473DD of the Migration Act. We must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to justify considering the new information provided by either you or the Department.
23.If you want to give us new information, you must also provide an explanation as to why:
- the information could not have been given to the Department before the decision was made, or
- the information is credible personal information which was not previously known and may have affected consideration of your claims, had it been known.
24.Your explanation should be no longer than 5 pages and must accompany any new information you give to us.
25.All documents that are not in English should be translated into English by a translator with a ‘Translator’ level accreditation from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Both the documents and the translations should be provided.
26.Any new information you give to us that we have not requested of you, must be given to us within 21 days of the date on which your case was referred to us by the Department. Any new information given to us by the Department that has not been requested, must also be given to us within 21 days of the referral.
27.We may separately invite you to provide new information or to comment on new information that may be adverse to your case.
- If we invite you to provide new information, you must provide that information within the period specified in the invitation.
- If we invite you to make comments on new information, you must provide those comments within the period specified in the invitation.
28.Reviews will generally be completed within six weeks of referral from the Department.
Giving documents to the IAA
29.Where possible, you should give us documents by emailing them to the following email address: email@example.com.
30.For the purposes of section 473HF(1)(a) of the Migration Act, if you are required or permitted to give us a document or thing, you may do so by one of the following methods:
- by emailing it to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- by posting it to us at the following address: GPO Box 1333, Sydney NSW 2001 (Until 30 September 2016); or GPO Box 9955, Sydney NSW 2001.
31.Unless we specifically ask you to do otherwise, you:
- may give us a copy of a document rather than the document itself; and
- are not required to send the original of a document by mail if sending a document by email.
32.Interviews may be held in very limited circumstances in accordance with the provisions set out in the Migration Act. An interview may be held for us to obtain specific new information from you or another person. An interview may also be held to allow you to comment on new information that we have considered that may be adverse to your case. We will not conduct a full rehearing of the evidence or information that was before the Department.
33.Interviews will generally be conducted by telephone.
34.Where an interview is arranged, you must give us a landline telephone number which we can call. Mobile telephone numbers will generally not be acceptable.
35.All interviews will be audio recorded. A suitably qualified interpreter will be engaged by us for the interview if one is required to assist with communication.”