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The Department of Home Affairs automatically refers fast track reviewable decisions to the IAA unless the applicant is an excluded fast track review applicant. Referrals are electronic and contain the decision-maker’s statement of reasons for the decision. The Department must also give the IAA any material provided by the referred applicant to the decision-maker before the decision was made and any other material considered by the Department to be relevant to the review.
In the majority of cases, the IAA reviews the decision on the papers. While the IAA has no duty to do so, it can get, request or accept any new information that was not before the Department, but may only consider it in exceptional circumstances. The IAA may request new information be given to it in writing or at an interview. The IAA does not conduct hearings. On 17 December 2018, the President issued a revised practice direction relating to the IAA’s procedures which clarified requirements relating to giving new information to the IAA.
The IAA can:
- affirm the fast track reviewable decision to refuse the referred applicant a protection visa, or
- remit the matter to the Department for reconsideration with directions, including that the referred applicant is a refugee within the meaning of subsection 5(1) of the Migration Act.