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Visitor visa cancellation

Understand the grounds for visitor visa cancellation

Visitor visa (Subclass 600) is a temporary visa designed to allow foreigners to come visit Australia for purposes like tourism, family visits, business meetings, or other short-term endeavours. However, in certain circumstances, the Australian authorities may decide to cancel a visitor visa, thereby revoking rights associated with it and preventing re-entry. 

The cancellation of an Australian visitor visa means ending permission for a non-citizen to visit and stay in Australia temporarily. This action is undertaken for various reasons, often to uphold immigration law, national security, public health, or in response to violations of visa conditions. Understanding the grounds and implications of visa cancellation is crucial for visitors to ensure compliance with Australian immigration regulations.

The information below pertains to the Tourist stream, which is the most common type of Australian Visitor visa.

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On which ground can the Department of Home Affairs cancel your visa?

If you are holding a visitor visa, your visa may be cancelled on three main grounds

 You can check your Tourist visa grant letter to know exactly which conditions attached to your visa.  It is of utmost importance for you to understand and comply with them as any non-compliance can lead to visa cancellation.

A Tourist visa often comes with the conditions listed below:

  • No work (condition 8101)
  • Maximum 3 months study(condition 8201)
  • Maintain adequate health insurance (condition 8501)
  • Must leave before visa expiry (condition 8531)
  • Stay no more than 12 months in any 18 month period (condition 8558)
  • No further stay (condition 8503)

As a Tourist visa holder, you must meet character requirements set out by the Australian government, and remain of good character.

You may not meet the character requirements if:

  • You have a substantial criminal record, that is if you have committed an offence and been sentenced to imprisonment of 12 months or more
  • You have been convicted of a sexual offence involving a child
  • You have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention
  • You have committed an offence while you were in immigration detention, during an escape from immigration detention, or after an escape but before you were taken into immigration detention again
  • You have been convicted of a domestic violence offence
  • The Australian government considers you would pose a risk to the Australian community.

It is crucial to recognise that providing false or misleading information, whether intentionally or inadvertently, can lead to the cancellation of your visa, even after it has been granted. The Department possesses the authority and resources to conduct thorough checks and verifications to confirm the accuracy of the information you have provided during the visa application process. It is a common misconception to assume that the Department lacks the means to verify your details. On the contrary, they are well-equipped to scrutinise the information, ensuring the integrity of the visa program. Therefore, it is imperative to be entirely truthful and accurate in all your interactions with the Department, as any discrepancies can have serious consequences for your tourist visa and further visa applications.

Consequences of tourist visa cancellation

The cancellation of an Australian tourist visa carries significant consequences, including an immediate loss of legal status, requiring the individual to promptly depart Australia. Moreover, it can lead to ineligibility for future Australian visas, leaving a negative mark on the immigration record and potentially resulting in financial losses due to disrupted travel plans and non-refundable bookings. In certain cases, a ban on re-entry may be imposed, limiting future visits to Australia. 

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 tourist visa is cancelled?

If your Australian tourist 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 tourist visa cancellation

To avoid tourist 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 and conditions

Benefits of using an immigration lawyer

It is highly advantageous to seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer when facing a Visitor visa cancellation as they are experts in this area. Australian Migration Lawyers, boasting a team of seasoned and highly trained legal professionals, can provide appropriate assistance tailored to your unique situation, as well as suggest alternative visa options. 

  • Our skilled professionals can assist in the appeal process, presenting a strong case for merits review before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or pursuing a judicial review before the court within strict time limits
  • 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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Frequently asked questions

Read our most frequently asked questions:

What are the common reasons for the cancellation of a tourist visa in Australia?

Common reasons for tourist visa cancellation include overstaying the permitted duration, breaching visa conditions (e.g., unauthorized work), providing false information, changes in personal circumstances without notifying the Department, national security concerns, or public health issues.

I have a cancelled visa. Can it affect my ability to obtain an Australian visa in the future?

Yes, visa cancellations can have implications for future Australian visa applications. It may negatively impact your immigration record and potentially lead to increased scrutiny in subsequent visa applications. However, each case is unique, and seeking guidance from a migration agent or immigration lawyer can help mitigate these effects and improve your chances of obtaining future 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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