Ministerial intervention to grant visas

If your visa application has been affirmed unsuccessful by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), you can request Ministerial Intervention.

Ministerial Intervention is a process where the Minister for Immigration can intervene in your case when the Minister thinks it is in the public interest to do so.

Please note that Ministerial intervention is discretionary, the minister is not obliged to intervene in any case.

Unlike the Department of Home Affairs and the AAT, the Minister of Immigration is not bound by the rules and regulations of a visa and he can substitute a decision that has been made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), with a more favourable decision. However, only a small number of all requests for ministerial intervention are successful. If the Minister does not intervene in your case, the Minister expects you to leave Australia prior to the expiry of your current visa.

When will the minister intervene?

The Minister is most likely to exercise a discretionary power where:

  • there are strong compassionate reasons for intervention where one or more of the person’s family is an Australian citizen and the person’s removal would cause the family serious harm
  • the person is in ill health and their removal would cause them serious harm
  • there is an exceptional scientific, economic or cultural benefit to the person remaining in Australia
  • the person cannot be returned to their country of origin because of circumstances beyond their control
  • the person is at risk of mistreatment if returned to their country of origin, despite not meeting the criteria for refugee status
  • the person has been refused a Protection Visa on character grounds and is at risk of being harmed if returned to their country of origin.

When can the minister not intervene?

The minister cannot exercise discretionary powers where:

  • there is no tribunal decision
  • a tribunal has found it does not have jurisdiction
  • a tribunal has found that the application was made outside of the time limit
  • a minister has already intervened to grant a visa
  • a tribunal has already referred the matter to the Department and a decision has already been made.

A request for Ministerial Intervention is a specialised area of work that requires a detailed submission and specific documentation to support any compelling, unique or exceptional circumstances in which a case might be referred for the Minister’s consideration. If you have received a decision by a review tribunal and whish to request Ministerial Intervention we invite you to book a consultation with one of our expert migration lawyers.

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