Visa Cancellations

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Visa Cancellations:

Between the 2013–14 and 2014–15 financial years, the number of visa cancellations on character grounds increased five-fold following the introduction of a new section of the Migration Act 1958.

Q. Can a visa be cancelled based on Character issues?

A visa can now be cancelled or refused for certain non-citizens by broadening the power to refuse to grant or to cancel a visa on character grounds, providing for lower thresholds for cancelling temporary visas; strengthening ministerial decision making powers in relation to general visa cancellation provisions; and introducing a mandatory visa cancellation for certain non-citizens who do not pass the character test.

The number of cancellations in 2014 - 2015 was 580, up from an average of 126 a year since 2010. The number of refusals in the last year was 136, compared to an average of 85 each year for the previous four years. Crimes such as armed robbery, violence and drug offences were cited alongside fraud, theft and child sex offences.

Character refusal or cancellation decisions will, as a consequence, lead to any undecided visa applications or visas held also being refused or cancelled. 

Q.   If I have a Criminal history, does it mean I will never get a  visa to Australia?

If you have a criminal record, it does not mean you will never be granted a visa to enter or remain in Australia. It is important that you consult with a Registered Migration Agent who specialises in Australian visa applications. 

Additional documentation can be prepared to accompany your visa application. A Registered Migration Agent will carry out a thorough review of your circumstances prior to submitting your application.

Q. Is it true there are  more  visas being cancelled  recently?

There has been an increase in offshore cancellations in 2014-15 which coincides with a new business model deployed by the Department to reduce the time frame for cancellation decisions. This trend is expected to continue into the 2015-16 financial year.

In 2014-2015, a total of 10,949 student visas were cancelled compared to 8018 the previous year. 

Q. What if my visa application is refused or my visa is cancelled?

You might be able to have the decision reviewed by a merits review tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT is an independent organisation that reviews government decisions. Within the AAT, specialist offices review specific types government decisions.

Not all decisions will be reviewed by the AAT. For example, if the Minister for Immigration personally decides to refuse or cancel your visa under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958, you generally cannot apply to have a decision reviewed by the AAT.

You must lodge your application within the time period outlined in your decision notification letter. The AAT does not have discretion to extend this time.

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