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The role of the IAA is to conduct reviews of fast track reviewable decisions. These are decisions, generally made by delegates of the Minister administering the Migration Act, to refuse to grant a protection visa to a fast track applicant. Fast track applicants are unauthorised maritime arrivals who entered Australia between 13 August 2012 and 31 December 2013 who have not been taken to an offshore processing country and have been permitted by the Minister to make a protection visa application. Fast track applicants are also other persons specified by the Minister by instrument.
The IAA’s objective is set out in section 473FA of the Migration Act. In carrying out its functions, the Authority must provide a mechanism of limited review that is efficient, quick, free of bias and consistent with the procedural requirements set out in the Migration Act. The IAA is independent of the Minister and the Department of Home Affairs.