The reintroduction of temporary protection visas for refugees, a key plank of the coalition's border protection policy, could be scuttled in the Senate.
The Australian Greens will attempt to quash the Abbott government's reintroduction of the visas (TPVs) in the upper house.
The policy could be disrupted for six months if the Greens succeed.
The coalition government reintroduced the visas via regulation last week, amid criticism from human rights groups.
AAP understands the Greens will move a disallowance motion to the regulation in the Senate when federal parliament returns in a fortnight.
If Labor supports the move it would succeed as they and the Greens have the majority in the Senate until next July 1.
The Abbott government could then potentially be forced to wait six months to reintroduce a regulation of the same substance, a spokesman for the Senate Clerk's office told AAP.
TPVs were used during the Howard government years.
They gave refugees protection for up to three years and banned them from applying for permanent protection.
Refugee Advice and Casework Service spokeswoman Tanya Jackson-Vaughan said returning to TPVs was "cruelty for its own sake".
She said the visas would not discourage future asylum seekers.
The three-yearly re-assessments of protection claims will come at a huge administrative cost to the taxpayers and the immigration department, Ms Jackson-Vaughan said.Comment has been sought from Labor's immigration spokesman and the immigration minister's offices.