Ministerial Interventions

Ministerial Interventions & Judicial Review

If you have unsuccessfully applied to a review tribunal in relation to a visa decision, you may be able to apply to the Minister for Immigration to intervene in your favour.

The Minister has issued guidelines which explain the circumstances in which the Minister may exercise these powers, and we are ready to craft a submissions to ensure maximum prospects of success. As a first step we will advise on the prospects of success in the first instance. We will not advise you to go down this path unless we believe there is a reasonable prospect of success.

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.


You need a decision from a review tribunal before you can request a ministerial intervention.

You can only make a request for ministerial intervention if you have already received a decision by a review tribunal. This is because the Minister’s public interest powers need a review tribunal decision to exist before she or he can intervene.

What is a review tribunal?

A ‘review tribunal’ means the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

However, there are certain limited circumstances where the Minister cannot intervene even after a decision by a review tribunal.

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.

Other options

If you are the partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may be able to lodge a partner visa application even if you have been refused a visa or had one cancelled whilst you are in Australia. If you are eligible, you should do this rather than ask the Minister to intervene in your case.

Please contact us at Australia Visa Choice to discuss the potential merits of seeking Ministerial Intervention in your case, or the prospects of applying for judicial review of an adverse decision.

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