Ministerial Intervention in your Australian immigration case

Have you had your visa application refused by the Department of Immigration and the Tribunal? You might have heard about something called “Ministerial Intervention”. If certain “unique or exceptional circumstances” apply in your case, you can ask Australia’s Immigration Minister to consider intervening to grant you a better decision. A request like this may be possible even when all of your other immigration options have run out.

Ministerial Intervention is not a visa application and no one can force the Minister to give you the outcome you want. The Minister usually intervenes only in a few cases. But if there really are some special aspects to your case or your personal circumstances and you feel that you want to try a request to the Minister, you should contact a professional Registered Migration Agent who has experience in these requests, and discuss your case to see if your circumstances may qualify for consideration. It is possible to make the request yourself, but if you do, you should first learn as much as you can about what sort of circumstances may qualify and what sort of evidence you should provide. It is not as simple as just writing a short letter asking to stay in Australia. Most requests of that sort will fail.

It’s a good idea to make the request while you still have a valid bridging visa. That usually means that the request should be made within 28 days from the date of your Tribunal decision, or from the outcome of your court decision, if you went to court after the Tribunal. Sometimes it may be even sooner. So you should inquire about Ministerial Intervention as early as possible to make sure you don’t miss the deadline and become unlawful in Australia. Once the request is lodged, an application for a new Bridging Visa will need to be made as soon as your existing one ends. If you do become unlawful before the request has been lodged, you will lose your work rights (if you had them) and it may also affect the outcome of the Ministerial Intervention request.The Minister is not usually happy about people who have become unlawful in Australia because it does not indicate a respect for the law here.

If you have already had a Ministerial Intervention request in the past and want to lodge a new one, you need to know that the Minister usually has a policy against dealing with “repeat requests”. You would need to show a very significant change in your circumstances or in the circumstances in your home country, before such a request would have any chance of being considered by the Minister. If there are no new circumstances such as this, your request will usually be refused without being considered, within a week or two of being lodged. Please seek professional advice if you are considering such a request.

Michele Clayton

Migration Agents Registration Authority Number 0957773

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