Under what conditions may a visa be cancelled?

Publish Date: Oct 14, 2014

Securing a visa can be a great opportunity to live and work in Australia, with the process often requiring a number of different criteria to meet and likely to involve consulting with immigration lawyer

Once you have secured a visa to migrate to Australia, it is important to understand the conditions that are placed on you when you live in the country. In particular, there are some conditions under which a visa may be cancelled - making these especially relevant for anyone holding a visa to Australia.

To understand these risks, here are three non-exhaustive reasons for which a visa might be cancelled:

Incorrect documentation

Every visa application is assessed and decided on the basis of information provided in application forms as well as supporting documentation which can range from basic documents like a passport to more comprehensive evidence to support a business or investor visa application.

If any of these documents are found to have been bogus, the Minister for Immigration may consider cancelling the visa granted on the basis of these documents. Under section 109 of the Migration Act, this rule also applies to the information provided in the forms used to make a visa application to the Department of Immigration, making it important that every stage of the application process is above-board.

Risky or dangerous activity within Australia

A visa holder's visa, which may give the visa holder the legal right to live and work in Australia, may be cancelled if the visa holder's presence in the country is deemed to be a risk to the public. This ranges from potential for criminal activity to inciting discord within the country.

Anyone who falls into these categories may find their immigration status in question.

Failure to comply with visa conditions

A visa may be cancelled if the holder has not complied with the conditions imposed by their visa, or another person required to comply with a condition(s) of the visa (for example the applicant's spouse/partner or a member of the applicant's family unit) has not complied with that condition(s).

For example, those travelling to the country on a work visa who cannot find work or work for an employer who is not the sponsoring employer on the basis of which their visa was granted, may be liable to cancellation of their visas.

The good news for visa holders is that there are options available to them. A visa holder who receives a decision from the Department of Immigration to cancel their visa may be able to apply for review of the decision to the Migration Review Tribunal or Refugee Review Tribunal and the Courts.

If you are in a position where your visa might be cancelled, or you just want to understand the responsibilities that come with moving to Australia, make sure you talk to an immigration lawyer. They will be able to provide specialised advice for your situation and guidance for resolving any issues.

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