Ministerial Intervention (MI)

Visa Point can represent you to make a request for ministerial intervention (MI) if you have received a decision by a review tribunal. The MI appeal must be lodged within 28 days of the decision received. There are public interest powers contained in sections 351, 417 and 501J of the Migration Act 1958.  These powers can only be used by the minister and are non-compellable. This means they act as a ‘safety net’ only and the minister is not legally bound to intervene, or consider intervening.

Appellants for MI usually have to report to their DIBP office to maintain their lawful status in Australia as MI application does not automatically extend bridging visa of the MI appellant.

This is because the minister’s public interest powers need a review tribunal decision to exist before he can intervene. A ‘review tribunal’ means the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT), the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) or, in certain circumstances, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

However, there are certain limited circumstances where the minister cannot intervene even after a decision by a review tribunal. These include where:

  • Our decision not to grant a visa is not a decision that can be reviewed by the relevant review tribunal
  • the review tribunal has sent your case back to us for further consideration and one of our decision-makers has made a subsequent decision on the visa
  • your review tribunal decision was made before 1 September 1994
  • a finding by the tribunal that our decision is not reviewable by it
  • a finding by the tribunal that the application made to the tribunal was invalid as it was not made within the required timeframe
  • a decision of the AAT that is not in respect of an MRT reviewable decision or a protection visa decision.

The department will advise you if your request cannot be considered under the minister’s public interest powers.

You can seek ministerial intervention if this is your initial request for the minister to intervene and you are currently appealing the review tribunal decision through the courts. However, the minister only intervenes in a relatively small number of cases and you should not discontinue any application for judicial review on the expectation that he will intervene in your case.