Visa cancellations and refusals


things not working out as expected? we can help.

Australian visas are only granted upon a visa applicant satisfying strict and stringent criteria under the Migration Act 1958. Sometimes those requirements are straight forward; whilst other requirements, such as health and character, can be difficult to satisfy because of the applicant's past and/or present circumstances. In many cases, there are discretionary powers that can be exercised by the decision maker. It is recommended advice be sought from an experienced migration lawyer who may be able to make the best representations on your behalf.

Conversely, all Australian visas have strict conditions applicable upon grant. Those conditions must be maintained for as long as the visa is held - or you may be at risk of having that visa cancelled and future applications at risk of refusal because of prior non-compliance. Sometimes a visa holder can breach those conditions unintentionally; and at other times those breaches result as a matter of circumstances (e.g. failure to meet the character requirements under section 501 of the Migration Act). 

Most visa holders are given a chance to explain the breach or contend that there was no breach of a visa condition, in an attempt to avoid cancellation of that visa. At other times, a cancellation may be automatic (e.g. such as the Minister's mandatory visa cancellation powers under section 501(3A) of the Migration Act). Whatever the situation, we can help to understand your circumstances and assist with making representations to Immigration as to why your visa should not be cancelled or any decision of a cancelled visa be revoked.

In most cancellation and refusal matters, the reasons are complex but in all these matters there are specific provisions and considerations that must be addressed (e.g. Ministerial Direction No. 65). It is always recommended that advice and assistance be sought from an experienced migration lawyer. 

If the Department of Immigration have cancelled your visa or refused your application for a visa, you may have a right to apply for a review of the decision. There may be three avenues for appeal available to you:

  1. Merits review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal 
  2. Judicial review through the Federal Court
  3. Intervention by the Minister for Immigration

In all cases, strict time limits apply to any right to review or apply for an appeal. If you do not act within the strict time limits you may lose your right to review.