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Protection visa cancellation

Understand the process of protection visa cancellations

Protection visas are a crucial legal instrument of the Australian government designed to grant asylum and safeguard individuals facing persecution, violence or other severe threats to their safety and wellbeing in their home countries. 

However, in certain circumstances, the Australian government may decide to cancel a Protection visa previously granted to an individual. This cancellation signifies a significant legal and administrative action, typically undertaken due to various reasons such as a change in the individual's circumstances, fraudulent information, criminal activities, or a determination that the individual no longer requires Australia's protection.

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Reasons for a protection visa cancellation

There are number of different grounds to cancel a protection visa, including:

Any non-compliance with Migration Law requirements to give the Department correct information and genuine documents, whether in a Protection visa application or passenger card.

Where the visa was temporary and below circumstances occur

  • A visa granted on a particular fact or circumstance that did not or does not exist
  • Non-compliance to visa condition(s)
  • The visa holder is a risk to health, safety or good order of the Australian community, or the health or safety of individuals, or is a security risk 

Your Protection visa may be cancelled if the Department has concerns about your character. If you have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for longer than a year, your visa will be subject to mandatory cancellation.

Consequences of a protection visa cancellation

Cancellation of a Protection visa is a serious matter and can have significant consequences for the individual affected. When a Protection visa is cancelled, it means the individual is at risk of losing their refugee status and the protection they were granted. The consequences can be far-reaching and may include:

  • Becoming unlawful non-citizen
  • Risk of immigration detention and deportation
  • Loss of right to work and study in Australia
  • Impact on family members
  • Bar from lodging further visa applications
  • Challenges in obtaining a new visa
  • Increased vulnerability and risk of harm
  • Financial and emotional hardships

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 protection visa is cancelled?

If your Australian Protection visa gets annulled, it's pivotal to initially grasp the reasons behind the cancellation. Gather comprehensive information from the authorities about the grounds, as this will empower you to make well-informed choices regarding your next steps. It is strongly recommended to seek advice from a certified migration agent or an immigration attorney. They can offer expert guidance, clarify your rights, and help you ascertain whether there are grounds to challenge the cancellation.

It's important to note that you might have the opportunity to contest their decision through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a merits review or pursue judicial review through the court system. These avenues can provide a platform to dispute the visa cancellation and have your case reexamined. If considering an appeal, ensure strict adherence to the specified time limits and submit any necessary supporting documentation or evidence to fortify your case.

How to avoid a protection visa cancellation

To avoid getting your Protection visa cancelled, you should:

  • Understand and comply with all visa conditions
  • Provide truthful and accurate information
  • Notify the Department of any changes
  • Obey Australian laws 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 a protection 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

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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:

Can a Protection visa be cancelled if my circumstances change after it's granted?

Yes, a Protection visa can be cancelled if there is a significant change in circumstances. If, for instance, you voluntarily return to and re-establish yourself in the country you sought protection from, or if the conditions in your home country improve to the point where you no longer face a well-founded fear of persecution, the Australian government may cancel your Protection visa.

What happens if my Protection Visa is cancelled due to providing incorrect information unintentionally?

If your Protection Visa is cancelled due to unintentional provision of incorrect information, it's important to consult with an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent. Depending on the circumstances and the extent of the error, you may have the option to appeal the cancellation decision. Accurate and timely communication of the error, along with supporting evidence, can be crucial in such situations.

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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