In many circumstances (but not always), it is possible to seek ministerial intervention after receiving a negative decision from the Tribunal. Under the Migration Act 1958, the Minister for Immigration has the power to interview and grant a visa on public interest ground.
There are certain circumstances where the minister cannot intervene even after a decision by a tribunal. These include:
- The decision by DIBP 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 the department for further consideration and one of the 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 the application made to the tribunal was invalid as it was not made within the required time-frame;
- a decision of the AAT that is not in respect of an MRT reviewable decision or a protection visa decision.
In determining whether to exercise the power and intervene, the minister looks at the submissions from a “humanitarian” perspective. This generally requires consideration of the “Bigger-picture” issues such as the public interests, the interests of the nation, and other interests such as economic, trade, or cultural interests.