An appeal for ministerial intervention can be lodged only if the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Migration Division has given a decision. This is because the minister for Home Affairs as public interest powers need a review tribunal decision to be activated.
In some circumstances, the minister has a personal power to grant a visa. The minister can change a decision made by an AAT to a substitute decision that is more favourable to the applicant. The minister can make a decision to grant a visa even when the applicant does not meet the legal requirements for it. However, the minister can only change a decision when he thinks it is in the public interest to do so. A very high number of requests are made to the minister to use this power, but very few visas are granted.
The minister only intervenes in a relatively small number of applications, and for some applications cannot intervene even after a decision by a review tribunal. These include where:
- the decision not to grant a visa cannot be reviewed by AAT
- the AAT has sent your application for further consideration to DHA and case officers have made a second negative decision
- the AAT decision was made before 1 September 1994
- the AAT informs visa holders the application is not subject to ministerial intervention
- the application to the AAT is invalid