The Immigration Assessment Authority (the IAA) was established by the Migration and Maritime Powers  Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014, which commenced on 18 April 2015. 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 Home Affairs (the Department) and of the Minister for Immigration (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, 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.

The IAA is required to pursue the objective of providing a review that is efficient, quick, free of bias and consistent with Division 3 of Part 7AA the Migration Act 1958.

The IAA is not bound by technicalities, legal forms or rules of evidence.