Section 57: A Guide To Natural Justice Letters

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Have you received a Natural Justice Letter?

The people at immigration are not so bad.  Usually, you will receive the letter under section 57 of the Migration Act when a case officer has formed a view that they should refuse your visa application.

The Department is being kind. The purpose of the section 57 letter (also known as a Natural Justice Letter) is to allow you to recover from a likely refusal position.

It could be that the decision-maker has missed something fundamental. Or something critical to the application simply does not appear on the Departmental file.

It could also be that the case officer is not satisfied that you have met very basic requirements. This could be either at the time of your application or the time of the Department’s decision. 


This letter is an opportunity for the case officer to be fair with you. Yes, they can be nice! What you need to do is to ensure that your application does have merits given the concern or multiple concerns raised by the departmental officer in their letter.

If your application does not have merit, you might be better off withdrawing your application. 

Whether you should respond to the Natural Justice Letter or you should simply withdraw the application it’s something that requires careful consideration.

One thing that I see all the time is people providing far more information than is required in relation to the letter. 

Providing the wrong information or too much information or information responses that are not properly worded, or which do not address the point being raised will certainly prejudice your already weak position.

To discuss how best to respond to a Natural Justice Letter, please book a consultation with me.

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I’d love to know more about your experience with applying for this visa subclass!

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