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 s 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

A NOICC is a notice issued by the Department of Home Affairs to inform you that the department is considering cancelling your visa. The NOICC will state the reasons why the department is considering cancelling your visa and will provide a timeframe in which you may respond.

A NOICC does not mean your visa will be cancelled. It means the department is considering cancelling your visa and is giving you the opportunity to respond to the reasons why they are considering cancelling your visa.

If the Department of Home Affairs decides to go ahead with the cancellation of your visa, they will issue you a Notice of Visa Cancellation. This is the actual cancellation of your visa.

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

In Australia – unlawful status

If your visa is cancelled while you are in Australia, then all bridging visas attached to further applications will also be 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 while you 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.

It is important to take action quickly and to consult with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of success.

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.

You must act quickly if you wish to have your visa cancellation decision reviewed by the AAT. You have a limited amount of time to review the decision and lodge an application for review.

The AAT is an independent tribunal that reviews decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs. You should act quickly to seek advice and lodge an application for review to the AAT.

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 visa cancellation appeal to the AAT is a complicated process and you only get one chance to appeal! Any mistakes made in the appeal process, such as inconsistencies in statements or insufficient supporting evidence, may lead to failure!

Our immigration lawyers can help you in several ways if your Australian visa is cancelled:

  1. Provide tailored and personalised legal advice: our immigration lawyers can assess your situation and provide you with legal advice about your rights, obligations, and options under Australian immigration law. Our advice will be made for you and you only!
  2. Represent you: Our immigration lawyers can represent you in all future discussions and correspondences with the Department of Home Affairs, and other agency. This means you will not miss out on anything important or stress about whether or not you missed out on any important correspondences. 
  3. Prepare and submit applications: We can prepare and submit applications on your behalf. This means that you do not need to worry about which forms to use or which documents to submit.
  4. Advocate for you: Our immigration lawyers are motivated and will work very hard to argue your case to help you achieve the best possible outcome. 
  5. Provide peace of mind: Once engaged, we can help you understand the visa cancellation process, provide guidance on what to expect, and give you peace of mind during what can be a stressful and uncertain time.

Overall, by engaging our immigration lawyers, it can help you navigate the visa cancellation process, protect your rights, and greatly improve your chances of success.

We have another blog that explains the difference between an immigration lawyer and a migration agent.

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