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Business & working visa cancellation

Get to know the grounds for working visa cancellation

The cancellation of Australian Business/ Working visas is a critical administrative action governed by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, dictating the termination of immigration privileges for individuals holding these specific types of visas. Whether due to violations of visa conditions, non-compliance with Australian immigration laws, or changes in personal circumstances, the cancellation process is designed to maintain the integrity of the visa system and uphold the nation's standards of compliance. 

It is essential to understand the Business/ Working visa cancellations in order to steer clear of avoidable complications and setbacks.

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Grounds for a business or working visa cancellation

A working visa may be cancelled if you failed to comply with visa conditions, failed to meet character requirements (note that mandatory cancellation applies where you are sentenced to imprisonment for longer than a year or convicted of sexually based crime involving a child), or provided false or misleading information on visa application. Additionally, if a visa holder no longer meets the eligibility criteria or experiences significant changes in personal circumstances that affect their visa conditions, this could also warrant visa cancellation.

According to section 134 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), Minister may cancel a business visa if the Minister is satisfied that the visa holder:

  • Has not obtained a substantial ownership interest in an eligible business in Australia; or
  • Is not utilising his or her skills in actively participating at a senior level in the day-to-day management of that business; or
  • Does not intend to continue to hold a substantial ownership interest and utilising his or her skills in actively participating at a senior level in the day-to-day management.

Some working visas such as subclass 482, 494 or 186 require visa sponsorship. The Department of Home Affairs may cancel your visa if you are involved in paying for the sponsorship. Before cancelling a visa, the Minister or a delegate will consider whether you initiated or were complicit in the paying for sponsorship and your intent in coming forward. The Department still gives you an opportunity to put forward why they should not cancel your visa. Evidence they may consider including the strength of your ties in Australia, and your contribution to the Australian community.

Consequences of a business/working visa cancellation

Cancellation of a Business/Working visa in Australia is a serious matter with profound consequences:

  • An immediate loss of legal status, requiring the visa holder to depart Australia
  • A re-entry ban may be imposed based on the circumstances of the cancellation, barring the individual from returning to Australia for a specified period. 
  • Significantly impacts future travel and residency plans
  • Lasting effects on immigration record and further visa applications
  • Financial losses
  • Business and employment activities disruption

Visa cancellation process

Navigating the complexities of visa cancellations can be daunting. This section provides an overview of the process, all the way through to the filing of submissions and the determination of your application. We emphasise the importance of representation throughout the process to ensure your interests are protected. Our experienced team offers dedicated support, ensuring that every client is well-informed and prepared for every stage of their visa journey. Our process includes the following steps:

1. Consultation and engagement

2. Preparation and support

3. Submission and communication

4. Representation and outcome

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What should you do if your business/working visa is cancelled?

If your Australian business or work visa is cancelled, it's crucial to first understand the reasons behind the cancellation decision. Obtain all available information from the authorities regarding the cause, as this will help you make informed decisions about your next steps. Seeking guidance from a registered migration agent or an immigration lawyer is highly advisable. They can provide expert advice, explain your rights, and help you understand whether you have grounds to appeal the cancellation. 

It's important to know that you might have the right to appeal their decision through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for merits review or seek judicial review through the court system. These avenues can provide a means to challenge the visa cancellation and have your case reconsidered. If an appeal is an option, ensure you do so within the strict time limits and provide any necessary supporting documentation or evidence to bolster your case.

How to avoid a business/working visa cancellation

To avoid business/working visa cancellation, you should:

  • Understand and comply with all visa conditions
  • Provide truthful and accurate information
  • Notify the Department of any changes
  • Obey Australian law and regulations
  • Consult with immigration professionals whenever you are unsure about your visa status

Benefits of using an immigration lawyer

It is highly advantageous to seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer when facing business/working visa cancellation as they are experts in this area. Australian Migration Lawyers, boasting a team of seasoned and highly trained legal professionals.

  • Lawyers can provide appropriate assistance tailored to your unique situation
  • Suggest alternative visa options
  • Our skilled professionals can assist in the appeal process, presenting a strong case before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or pursuing a judicial review
  • Their expertise ensures that all necessary legal requirements are met and that your case is effectively advocated, maximising the chances of a successful appeal.

Meet your Australian Migration Lawyer

We’re a diverse team of professionals with decades of combined experience. We care about your situation and will make sure you always get the support and advice you need.

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We offer professional migration advice and support, no matter where you are based. Those located in Australia have the choice of meeting with us at one of our offices or online, and for those offshore, we are available to you online.

Frequently asked questions

Read our most frequently asked questions:

What steps should I take if I suspect a potential violation of my Business/Working visa conditions?

If you suspect a potential violation of your visa conditions, it's essential to act promptly. Reach out to a registered migration agent or an immigration lawyer to discuss your concerns and seek guidance on how to rectify the situation. Being proactive in addressing any issues or discrepancies can help prevent the cancellation of your visa.

How does a Business/ Working visa cancellation affect my eligibility for other types of visas?

A visa cancellation can have implications on your eligibility for future visas to come to Australia. Immigration authorities may view a prior visa cancellation negatively when considering new visa applications. It is important to understand the specific reasons for the visa cancellation decisions and address any underlying issues to improve your prospects for obtaining subsequent visas.

About the content author

Perry Q Wood
Partner - Principal Migration Lawyer

Perry Q Wood is National President of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law and one of Australia’s leading administrative and migration lawyers. To date, he has been involved in 1,000+ migration and refugee matters.

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