Immigration Law

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What are the visa cancellation procedures?

Visa cancellation flow

Overview of Visa Cancellation

There are 2 main stages to visa cancellations:

Before Visa is Cancelled

You need to respond to the Department of Home Affairs as to why they should not cancel your visa.

After Visa is Cancelled

Your visa has been cancelled and you need to appeal the decision.

Visa cancellation is not the end
Only if you respond properly

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the Migration Act 1958, there are many grounds for visa cancellation. Here are some of the common reasons:

1. You were non-compliant with visa conditions
s 116 – the Minister may cancel a visa if he or she is satisfied that the visa holder has not complied with a condition of the visa.

2. You did not meet character requirements
s 501 – The Minister may cancel a visa that has been granted to a person if:

(a) the Minister reasonably suspects that the person does not pass the character test; and
(b) the person does not satisfy the Minister that the person passes the character test.

3. You provided false information on your visa application
s 109 – the Minister may cancel the visa after deciding under section 108 that there was non-compliance by the visa holder.

Before Visa is Cancelled

When the Department of Home Affairs receives negative information concerning your visa application, they may consider it appropriate to cancel your visa. If you are in Australia at that time, the Department will send you an NOICC, notifying you that they are considering whether they should cancel your visa.

The NOICC is an opportunity provided to you to explain to the Visa Officer why your visa should not be cancelled. You should respond to NOICC professionally and persuasively.

  1. Read through the NOICC. Understand the reasons for cancellation and the time limit for response
  2. Read relevant legislation and policies by yourself, or talk to a lawyer about your case
  3. Take action ASAP to decide the strategy to respond, collect relevant materials and drat response

Again, you should consider the response to NOICC your last chance to convince the Visa Officer as to why your visa should not be cancelled. You should write your response to an NOICC professionally and persuasively. Anything in your response can be fatal to your visa status.

There is no legal requirement that your response must be prepared or presented by a lawyer or a migration agent. If you have received proper legal training, or you are confident that you have good knowledge of legislation and policies and good understanding and experience of Australian migration-related matters, you can prepare the response by yourself.

However, if you are not familiar with the Australian immigration system or relevant policy and legislation, no matter how confident you are, you may still make small mistakes that can lead to the cancellation of your visa. A professional lawyer can use legal terms and accurate points to draft your response letter. Moreover, they can also find support from case law to help with your case.

We highly recommend that you should engage a lawyer to help you draft your response to NOICC if you are not a legal professional with migration law experience.

  • Respond to reasons for cancellation mentioned in the NOICC. Explain why your visa should not be cancelled.
  • Elaborate on other factors that the Department must consider in your favour, such as your family situation, your children and your contribution to community.

Different time limitations apply to different cancellation powers. Generally, it ranges from 5 – 28 days.

Make sure you find the time limitation to respond on the NOICC sent to you. If you want to apply for extension, you need to receive the grant for extension before the time limit expires.

Response to NOICC is the first step you need to take before a final decision is made about your visa cancellation. This is an opportunity provided for you to explain to the Visa Officer why your visa should not be cancelled.

If you prepare for the response to NOICC properly, the Visa Officer may decide that your visa will not be cancelled. This means you will have NO MORE concern or expenses in:

  • AAT application fee
  • AAT representative/lawyer fee
  • Prolonged waiting period
  • Protracted period of uncertainty
  • Mental stress and anxiety

Remember, whatever you can present at AAT, you can present in your Response to NOICC. This is a cost-efficient and trouble-saving solution for you to secure your visa.

After Visa is Cancelled

In Australia – unlawful status

If your visa is cancelled while you are in Australia, then all bridging visas attached to further applications are also cancelled. Your stay in Australia becomes unlawful.

You will also lose work rights attached to any visa or bridging visa cancelled.

You may also be affected by s 48 bar stopping you from lodging certain visas onshore.

Out of Australia

If you have a visa cancelled and leave Australia or are out of Australia, then you may face a 3 year ban from grant of further temporary visas to which PIC 4013 applies unless you can show compelling or compassionate reasons for grant of the visa within the 3 year ban period.

If the decision can be appealed, you should lodge the appeal at AAT within the timeframe.

Different time limitations apply to different cancellation powers. Generally, it ranges from 7 – 28 days.

Make sure you find the time limitation to appeal on the visa refusal letter sent to you.

1. Always act fast!
Don’t hesitate. You may lose the chance to respond or appeal if you miss the deadline.

2. Never lie!
Even if the Department has solid grounds to cancel your visa, you may still win your case with certain discretionary power. It is never worth lying.

3. Engage a lawyer!
A professional immigration lawyer can find the best strategy for you based on their legal training, knowledge and experience. We highly recommend that you should engage a lawyer as soon as possible, so that they can have enough time to prepare and to act.

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