Individuals and Travellers

Ministerial intervention under section 48B of the Migration Act 1958

On this page you will find information to explain Ministerial Intervention under section 48B of the Migration Act 1958.

If you have previously been refused a protection visa—including a permanent Protection visa, Temporary Protection visa or Safe Haven Enterprise visa—or if you held a protection visa that was cancelled,  you cannot make another application for a  protection visa.

The Minister expects you to have made all your circumstances and protection claims known to us during your first protection visa application and to have made full use of the assessment process and any avenue of review that might have been available to you. Usually, this will be your only opportunity to have your protection claims considered by Australia.

Following a decision to refuse to grant a protection visa or an assessment that you do not engage Australia’s protection obligations, the Minister expects you to depart Australia in a timely manner and respect the immigration laws of this country.

The Minister has powers under the Migration Act to allow a person who would otherwise be barred to make another application for a protection visa.

Who can make a request

You can make a request under section 48B if you:

  • had a protection visa application refused, or had a protection visa cancelled
  • have new protection claims that you could not provided in your original application.

The Minister will not consider protection claims that have already been considered in a Protection visa application or by the Tribunal.

The Minister only intervenes in a small number of cases each year and will not consider repeat requests. This means that you must include all your claims in your first section 48B request as subsequent requests will not be considered. Where the Minister has previously declined to consider a case, you are expected to leave Australia.

Requests will only be considered where a person is making genuine and compelling claims that require consideration when these claims could not be raised in their initial protection visa application.

Referrals to the Minister

Unless you are in immigration detention, you must hold a visa if you want to be considered for intervention. Before making a request, check that you hold a visa, and if you do not, contact the Department to regularise your visa status.

You will generally not be referred to the Minister within six months of your Protection visa refusal decision, or if you sought review six months within a decision of the AAT or IAA, unless you are from one of the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syria

If you are from the following countries, you will not be referred to the Minister:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

How to make a request

You or your authorised representative can write to the Minister explaining why your circumstances are exceptional and why the information you are now providing could not have been provided at your Protection visa application or during the Tribunal process. You must make a request for section 48B separately from a request for any other Ministerial Intervention power, otherwise it will not be considered.

You need to identify exactly who is included in your request, tell us your departmental reference number (such as your client identity number), and provide a copy of any previous tribunal decision so that we can quickly identify your case. 

You must provide information about your circumstances and include all relevant supporting documents. We might not request further information from you and will generally make an assessment on the documents you provide at the time you lodge your request.

You can send your request by email or post.

Postal address
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 6022
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Email: minister@border.gov.au

If you attempt to lodge another protection visa application when you are barred from doing so, your application will be invalid. Instead, this new application will be treated as a request for ministerial intervention under section 48B.

What happens to your request

Your request will be assessed by us to check whether or not it meets the Minister’s guidelines.

The Minister has issued guidelines outlining the exceptional circumstances in which the Minister might consider it in the public interest that you be allowed to lodge a further protection visa application.

You must provide evidence with your section 48B request to support any new information and also supply reasons why this information could not have been provided with your previous protection visa application.

Your visa status

To stay in Australia while your request is being considered, you must hold a visa. If you do not have a current visa, the Minister will not consider your case.

Contact us if you do not hold a visa.

Unsuccessful requests

The Minister does not intervene very often so you should not assume that the Minister will in your case. If the Minister does not intervene in your case, the Minister expects you to leave Australia when your current visa expires.

You can contact us to help you get a travel document or make arrangements for you to leave Australia.