Applications to the Migration Review, Refugee Review & Administrative Appeals Tribunals, the Federal Magistrates Court, the Federal Court and the High Court, Ministerial Intervention

Help with applying for a visa: Our highly experienced team of migration lawyers and agents can assist and advise you in relation to your application to the Migration Review Tribunal, the Refugee Review Tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Magistrates Court, the Federal Court and the High Court. 

We recommend that you contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for advice tailored to your circumstances.

Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot represent you before the Federal Court or the High Court.

How we can help:
  • our firm has acted in more than 8,000 primary applications, review applications, applications to Tribunals and  Courts over the years
  • we have highly experienced solicitors (lawyers) who are also Registered Migration Agents
  • we know the law and can present your best case before review tribunals and courts
  • we understand what evidence is relevant; we can help present that evidence
  • we have experience in dealing with complex immigration matters; for example, Craddock Murray Neumann has acted in a number of prominent cases before the High Court of Australia, including NAGV and NAGW v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (where the High Court decided the case in favour of our clients in a unanimous 7-0 decision).

The number of days you have to lodge an application in the Migration Review Tribunal, the Refugee Review Tribunal, the Federal Magistrates and Federal Court and the High Court depends on the type of decision you are applying to have reviewed, whether you are in Australia or overseas and how you received the decision.

Very limited time periods can apply. You should seek advice on seeking a review by a Court or Tribunal immediately you receive a decision. Do not wait because if you do time limits might expire. The question of whether a time limit has commenced, expired or whether it can be extended can be complex. A list of the time limits is beyond the scope of this article. We recommend that you contact us immediately you receive a decision with which you are dissatisfied so we can advise you about your options.

Review at the Tribunal

If a Tribunal has power to make a fresh application generally it stands in the shoes of the decision maker. You must note the following when applying for a review at the Tribunal:

  • that you continue to meet the criteria for the visa
  • the tribunal cannot grant you a visa and is there only to review the original decision made by the Delegate (Department Case Officer)
  • generally, the same rules the Delegate applied to your case will be applied by the Tribunal at the hearing
  • a solicitor/Migration Agent who has experience in presenting facts and arguments will give you a better chance of success.

Appeal/application to the Federal Magistrates Court (FMC), the Federal Court and the High Court

If you are applying to a Court or appealing for review of a decision made by the Minister or a Tribunal you must note the following:

  • that the Court is only there to review the original decision; this means that it looks at the legality of the decision
  • it is not possible to provide adequate information on a webpage about what the Court might look at it in reviewing the legality of the decision – this is a complex question on which you should take advice from a lawyer, and that advice must look at your specific circumstances
  • the application to the Court will require substantial resources; we can provide you with advice on the prospects of success of your case prior to applying to a court or commencing an appeal
  • Courts do not grant visas; if a Court makes a decision in your favour this will involve a Tribunal or the Minister/Department making a fresh decision, and this fresh decision may be favourable or adverse.

Ministerial Intervention

It may be possible to apply for Ministerial Intervention. The "rulebook" on ministerial intervention is not easily accessible to the public and is detailed. 

The basis on which the minister can intervene and how the rules apply can involve complex questions and require detailed evidence and submissions. 

Relevant matters can include but are not limited to the following - but even where all of the following are present this does not necessarily mean the Minister has power to or will intervene:

  • whether or not a Tribunal has already made a decision
  • where there are unique and exceptional circumstances that justify the use of powers of the Minister to act in the public interest
  • whether the interests of the child are involved
  • whether a refusal will lead to irreparable harm and continuing hardship to an Australian citizen or family
  • circumstances where exceptional economic, scientific, cultural or other benefit to Australia would result from the visa applicant being permitted to remain
  • the length of time the person has been present in Australia
  • compassionate circumstances regarding the age and/or health and/or psychological state of the person
  • whether there are character concerns in relation to the person
  • whether there has been a previous request for the exercise of the ministerial public interest powers.

An application to the Minister might be your last - or best - option. You should seek advice from an experienced immigration lawyer and registered migration agent on whether such an application is available, and if it is, on how to make it.

Please note that the above criteria are a summary of the requirements for reviews and appeals. There are additional requirements that are specific to each stage which are not covered here and will depend on your circumstances. We recommend that you contact one of our experienced solicitors and registered migration agents for more information in relation to this visa before you apply.

Warning: this page states the law as at July 2014 and when you read this page the law might have changed. Australian immigration law is complex. The law on making applications to a Tribunal, Court or for Ministerial Intervention may change. We recommend that you Contact us to find out how one of our experienced lawyers and registered migration agents can help.

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