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Mandatory Visa Cancellation

Mandatory Visa Cancellation - Visa Cancellation Lawyer

Visa Cancellation Lawyer – Mandatory Visa Cancellation is an automatic visa cancellation without prior warning to you under Section 501(3A) of the Migration Act 1958.

If you have just received a letter, ‘Notice of visa cancellation under section 501(3A) of the Migration Act 1958’, from the Immigration Department advising that they have cancelled your visa, you must take action immediately.

In this article, we will go over what this means for you and the next options if your visa application is cancelled under these circumstances, as well as the steps involved to resolve your status in Australia.

NOTE: If you have just received a different letter called Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (‘NOICC’), click here about your different avenues. Otherwise, if your visa has already been cancelled for other reasons, click here to view your review rights.

Take a look at the following step-by-step guide to learn what to do if you receive this letter stating that your visa has been cancelled by the Department and how to save your visa.

Tell us your story and what stage you are in and let’s see how we can help you.


Step by step guide

Jay Son – Australian Immigration Lawyer

Jay Son, our principal immigration lawyer and the Director of Hummingbird Legal, is based in Australia and is a highly experienced visa cancellation lawyer in such matters with revocation of visa cancellation requests and section 501 visa cancellation responses to the Department.

Jay is admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia, and practises exclusively in Australian immigration law.

Jay is a strong migration advocate and is highly experienced in challenging government decisions in relation to Australian immigration law. He solves difficult migration matters and visa problems including complex partner visas, AAT appeals, visa refusals, visa cancellations, Schedule 3 submissions, health waiver and character concerns.

If you want to learn more about Jay, click here.

Step 1 – Does it mean your visa is already cancelled?

Yes, unfortunately, if your letter says something along the lines of ‘notice of visa cancellation under section 501(3A) of the Migration Act 1958’, it means your visa has already been cancelled. Now, this is a big deal and I’ll explain why.


Step 2 – Why did the Immigration Department cancel your visa without giving you a chance to explain?

If you are in Australia and this has happened to you, it is very likely that you are currently in jail. Chances are a prison officer has come to you and handed this letter to you saying that the Immigration Department has cancelled your visa.

Now, if this is exactly what has happened to you, it means your visa has been subject to ‘mandatory cancellation’ so in this case your visa has been cancelled automatically.


Step 3 – What is mandatory cancellation?

This means you failed to pass the Department’s ‘character test’. In other words, the Department does not believe that you are of good character. At the same time, you are spending your sentenced period in prison. This exact situation will trigger ‘mandatory cancellation’, and the Department must cancel your visa by law.


Step 4 – What are the consequences of having your visa cancelled under section 501(3A)

Now, as I said earlier, this is a big deal and here’s why. The consequences are severe and I’ll explain with three reasons.

  • Once you have spent your time in jail, so once you get out of jail, the Department can then put you straight into immigration detention and they can then remove you from Australia
  • You can’t apply for another visa while you are in Australia (with very few exceptions, such as the protection visa)
  • If your visa has been cancelled on character grounds like in this way by failing to pass the character test, you may not be able to come back to Australia at all
Step 5 – What can be done then?

So, you have to take action.

Even though the Department has had to cancel your visa automatically by law, they are still required to give you a chance to have that cancellation revoked, so to have that cancellation withdrawn. And you can do this by making a request for revocation.


Step 6 – How do you make a request for revocation?

This is how the procedure looks.

  • you failed to pass the character test either because of:
    1. you have a substantial criminal record; or
    2. you have been convicted of child sex offences

               and therefore, you are put in prison.

Note: You have a substantial criminal record if you have been convicted to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more.

  • the Immigration Department then cancels your visa automatically, and a prison officer hands you a letter from the Department saying that they have cancelled your visa.
  • You then have 28 days to get back to the Department. Now, this is where you will need to prepare your response.
  • You must respond to the Department with ‘very good reasons’ why they should revoke, or in other words, withdraw cancelling your visa.
  • Along with the letter, the Department would have also sent you two forms called (a) revocation request form, and (b) a personal details form. You’ll need to fill those out as well, and this is where you will need to explain your ‘very good reasons’ as to why you should not be deported. You will have to make sure that these forms are filled out with as much detail as possible.
  • Remember this time limit is very strict. You have to respond either by email, fax or post by the strict time limit – 28 days.
Step 7 – What should you do next?

You must include your strong arguments as to why you should stay in Australia in your revocation request.

You are trying to convince the Department that you should still stay in Australia because you have major responsibilities and you make a positive contribution to Australian society.

I’ll give you a couple of examples that the Department will consider in your revocation request.

  • They look at how long you have lived in Australia and on what visa, so they look at your connections to Australia;
  • Situations in your country of citizenship, such as whether it is safe for you to return to your home country;
  • Your family circumstances in Australia including any minor children involved; and
  • The type of crime you have committed in Australia, and there are also other things like any history of reoffending

Please keep in mind that these are just a few examples and not an exhaustive list. Your own ‘very good reasons’ will be determined by your individual circumstances.

You must submit clearly written submissions in a legal and logical order with relevant evidence, as well as those two forms I mentioned earlier, within the 28-day deadline.

Visa cancellation is a serious issue and what’s even more frustrating is that you’ll often need a lot of information in a short amount of time to make a request for revocation, so try to gather as much information as possible from yourself, your friends and family, as well as letters of support from any other relevant people involved.

Because this will take a long time, you’ll need to act quickly. Your first response is also very likely to be your final response before the Department decides whether or not to revoke your visa cancellation.

If you find yourself in this serious situation, I strongly recommend you have an immigration lawyer (visa cancellation lawyer) at your side to help you, who can fully understand your situation and advise you on how to formulate your revocation request to the immigration department in a timely manner.


Contact Us

We have helped many clients successfully rescue their visa through the revocation request to the Department. We assist our clients by identifying their most compelling arguments, compiling all relevant evidence, and drafting persuasive submissions on their behalf. We will talk to you and other relevant people around you to understand your case and gather evidence for your case.

If you want to reach out to us, to help you with visa cancellations and revocation requests, or any other immigration enquiries, you can call us, drop an enquiry form or send us an email.


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