Any visa can be cancelled.

If you are in Australia the Australian Government normally issues a Notice before cancellation can occur. It is to give you the chance to answer their concerns. There will be a deadline to respond. If you do not respond on time, or if they are not satisfied with your answer, your visa will be cancelled.

If you are overseas the Australian Government can cancel your visa without warning you first, or giving you a chance to defend yourself.

Get legal advice immediately if you receive a Notice warning you that your visa may be cancelled.

You must reply to a Notice warning you about possible visa cancellation on time. There are strict time limits. If you are late the Australian Government has the right to cancel your visa without contact you again.

Some common reasons for visa cancellation are:

  • Incorrect information was given (even if someone gave it on your behalf)
  • Broken visa conditions (eg working more than is allowed)
  • Change in circumstances (eg partner separating from main visa holder)
  • Lack of good character (eg a criminal conviction)

Having an experienced immigration lawyer is your best chance to defend your visa from cancellation. This is how we help our clients:

  • Assess the Notice
    • Did the Immigration Department use the correct law?
    • Did they make any mistakes of law or fact?
    • Did Immigration skip any issues? If Immigration skipped some important issues in their Notice it is vital to know what those issues are and deal with them, or risk losing because of them. Preparing in advance is key.
  • Critically Review Immigration’s File – We can obtain a copy of the Immigration Department’s file on your case and review it to identify key issues.
    • Is anything missing from the file that should be there?
    • Did Immigration follow proper legal process?
    • Does the information on Immigration’s file contradict their conclusion?
    • What do the department’s abbreviations and shorthand mean?
    • Was the department’s approach to your case the same as in other recent cases?
    • Are there any factual conflicts revealed?
  • Help you understand the rules. The rules are much more than just the information in Immigration’s refusal letter (where they state the law, their policy and conclusions).
    • What court cases apply to your situation?
    • Do any court cases in other fields of law assist your case?
    • Has the law changed since the decision was made? Do you have to meet the new law? Do the law changes create any extra requirements you are not aware of?
  • Prepare a Case Plan
    • Predict what the key issues will be
    • What evidence should you get to support your case?
    • Can an extension of time be gained? Is that a good idea?
    • Will the passage of time help your case or create complications?
    • What are your work rights?
    • Can you change jobs? Will that effect your case?
    • What are your travel rights? Is it safe to travel?
  • Written Arguments to the Australian Government – You can avoid visa cancellation if the Australian Government can be convinced of the merits of your case. Well written legal arguments with appropriate evidence can win your case, and save you the stress and cost of an appeal.

If your visa is not cancelled you keep it. The visa stays exactly how it was, as if no cancellation was ever considered. Be aware that the Australian Government keeps your file forever. If something happens in future to draw their attention again, they will certainly reconsider your file.

If your visa is cancelled then:

  • You will have a deadline to appeal, if you have appeal rights.
  • You must either appeal or leave Australia, normally within 28 days.
  • The visa cancellation will be placed on your permanent record
  • You may be banned from entering Australia for a period of time. Depending on your circumstances that may be as little as 3 years, or it may be life-long ban

If your visa is cancelled you may have appeal rights.

The Australian Government must notify you if you have appeal rights and what those rights are. This information will be included in their letter notifying you that your visa has been cancelled.

Get legal advice immediately if you want to appeal or seek another solution.

In some cases, with good planning it may be possible to put a backup plan in place. Every case is different, and this needs to be individually assessed and planned.