Ministerial Intervention in Australia
Ethos Migration Lawyers has a wealth of experience assisting individuals and families looking to apply for Ministerial Intervention in Australia.
Ministerial Intervention is generally the last resort for people looking to have their matter considered and it is extremely important that you are represented by experienced and highly skilled immigration lawyers presenting your case to the Minister in the best possible way.
The Minister only considers Ministerial Intervention cases that have been reviewed at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). In some cases the Member can recommend the matter for Ministerial Intervention.
The Minister has guidelines of circumstances that may be considered and circumstances that will not be considered. (More on this below).
If you are applying for Ministerial Intervention you must be lawfully residing in Australia. If your visa has expired it is important that you legalise your status in Australia which may require a Bridging Visa E application.
What Is Ministerial Intervention?
Ministerial Intervention is when the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has the ability under the Migration Act 1958 to personally intervene in your case if the Minister believes it is in the public interest to do so which usually means the Minister will grant you (and if applicable your family members) a visa.
It is important to note that the Minister is not legally obliged to intervene nor consider applications for Ministerial Intervention and only a small number of applications are successful.
What Cases Does The Minister Intervene In?
For a Ministerial Intervention application to be considered by the Minister guidelines exist that outline the circumstance that will and will not be considered.
The Minister will consider Ministerial Intervention cases that:
- Strong compassionate circumstances that if not recognised would result in serious, ongoing and irreversible harm and continuing hardship to an Australian citizen or an Australian family unit, where at least one member of the family is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.
- Compassionate circumstances regarding your age and/or health and/or psychological state, that if not recognised would result in serious, ongoing and irreversible harm and continuing hardship.
- Exceptional economic, scientific, cultural or other benefit that would result from you being permitted to remain in Australia.
- Circumstances not anticipated by relevant legislation; or clearly unintended consequences of legislation; or the application of relevant legislation leads to unfair or unreasonable results in your case.
- You cannot be returned to your country/countries of citizenship or usual residence due to circumstances outside your control.
What Cases Does The Minister Not Intervene In?
Generally, the Minister will not intervene in any Ministerial Intervention cases that do not meet the above listed guidelines and cases that fall under the following circumstances:
- the request is made by a person who is not the subject of the request or their authorised representative
- the person is in the community and:
- is an unlawful non-citizen and remains an unlawful non-citizen throughout the course of their Ministerial intervention request
- does not cooperate in ensuring that a valid travel document is available (or has not satisfied the Department that they are stateless)
- the person has been found not to satisfy a fraud-related Public Interest Criterion for the grant of a visa
- the person’s visa has been cancelled because they breached their visa conditions
- the person has had a visa refused because they did not comply with the conditions of a previous visa
- the person has been refused a visa or has had a visa cancelled on character grounds
- the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has determined that the person is a direct or indirect risk to national security through issuing the person with an Adverse Security Assessment (ASA) which remains in effect
- the person could apply for a Partner visa onshore but is subject to a visa condition 8503 (which specifies that after entering Australia, the person cannot be granted another substantive visa other than a protection visa while they remain in Australia) and a request for a waiver of that condition has not been sought or decided
- the person may be able to apply for a Partner visa onshore, as prescribed under regulation 2.12(1) of the Migration Regulations 1994(the Regulations)
- the person’s application for a Partner visa onshore, as prescribed under regulation 2.12(1) of the Regulations, has been refused and the person is now barred from applying for a Partner visa onshore
- the person has left Australia
- the person has an ongoing application for a substantive visa (either onshore or offshore)
with the Department
- the person has an ongoing application for merits review of a visa decision with a relevant review tribunal
- the person has had a remittal or a set aside decision from a relevant review tribunal or a court
- the person’s review tribunal decision was in relation to the refusal or cancellation of a Bridging visa E
- the person has an ongoing ministerial intervention request under any of the powers covered by these guidelines
- a Notice of intention to remove has been issued to the person and the ministerial intervention request has not been initiated by the Department
- the person holds a Bridging visa E with visa condition 8512 which specifies that the person must leave Australia by a specified date
- the request raises claim only in relation to Australia’s non refoulement obligations.
When Can You Apply for Ministerial Intervention?
The Minister can only intervene and exercise their discretionary powers when there is a relevant existing decision. This means the Minister can only intervene once a decision has been made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), the former Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT), the former Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) or the former Immigration Review Tribunal (IRT) or the Migration Internal Review Office.
All applicants for Ministerial Intervention must hold a valid visa permitting them to reside in Australia when the application is made and throughout the processing of the Ministerial Intervention application. In most cases this is a Bridging Visa E (BVE).
Ministerial Intervention Frequently Asked Questions
There is no specific time limit however you must apply whilst you are ‘lawful’ in Australia on either a Bridging Visa or a substantive visa. The Minister will not intervene in any cases where an applicant is an unlawful non-citizen.
Ministerial Intervention processing times significantly vary depending on the nature and complexity of the case. In most circumstances the process takes in excess of 12-18 months.
Professional fees relating to an application for Ministerial Intervention vary based on your personal circumstances. No two cases are the same and the fees reflect the level of work that is required to go into your Ministerial Intervention case to maximise your chances of success.
The Minister only intervenes in a very small number of cases that are presented for his/her consideration. The chances of a successful application depend on your individual circumstances.
In almost all cases no. Before you can make a request for Ministerial Intervention you must have had your matter heard at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).