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Visa Cancellation Australia

Visa Cancellation Australia

If you have just received a letter, Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (‘NOICC’), from the Immigration Department advising that they are wanting to cancel your visa, you will need to take action immediately.

This is especially crucial if staying in Australia and keeping your visa is important to you.

NOTE: if your visa has already been cancelled, click here to read a different article about your review rights.

Take a look at the following step-by-step-guide on what happens when you receive this letter stating that the Department is considering cancelling your visa and how you can rescue 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 Director of Hummingbird Legal, is based in Australia and is a highly experienced visa cancellation lawyer, in such matters with visa cancellation related legal submissions, section 501 visa cancellation and NOICC responses to the Department.

Jay is a strong migration advocate, admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia, 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 – Why did you get this letter?

There might be various reasons as to why you received this letter.

The three most common reasons can be summarised as below:

(a) Breach of visa conditions

You may have breached your visa conditions. For example, you’re on a visa and it’s got some conditions that the Department wants you to follow, but you’ve unfortunately failed to follow these conditions and the Department has somehow found out and now wants to cancel your visa. This can be grounds to cancel your visa.

(b) Failure of character test

Another reason may be that you have failed the character test. While you are in Australia on a visa and you commit a crime, and therefore you have a substantial criminal record, Immigration can say that you are no longer of good character and this can be grounds to cancel your visa.

(c) Incorrect information

The other reason might be that you have provided incorrect information to the Department. Now, at any stage, whether that’s now or in the past, either with your current visa or any previous visas in Australia, if you have provided incorrect information, this could be grounds to cancel your visa.

Step 2 – Can you ignore it?

The answer is no – do not ignore it. Whether or not you agree with the letter, if you don’t deal with the letter and the Department cancels your visa, the Department can then detain you and remove you from Australia. So this is a serious issue and if staying in Australia and keeping your visa is important to you, you have to take action.

Step 3 – How much time do I have?

The very first thing you’ll need to do is check the time limit. Your letter should state the time limit by which Immigration wants you to respond to this letter.

The good news is, if you respond to Immigration on time, they will have to consider your response before they can decide whether or not to cancel your visa. Therefore it is very important that you are aware of how much time you have in order to respond.

Generally speaking, for permanent visas it should be 14 days, and temporary visas would depend on what is written in your letter. In some cases it could be as little as 5 days. But again time limit with visa cancellation varies depending on every case so you’ll need to check your letter.

Step 4 – How do I deal with this?

What is the Department telling you? What are their reasons for wanting to cancel your visa? Are they actually correct and do you agree with their reasons?

Even if you feel that they are making incorrect assumptions about your case, do not just leave it. It is still your responsibility to get back to the Department and explain why you think they are wrong.

On the other hand, if the Department has actually pointed out correctly, at this point, should you just leave it then because they are actually right?

It is important to understand that the Department has various powers when it comes to canceling your visa, and in some cases, they have powers to cancel your visa no questions asked, so they will just cancel the visa without even asking you and just let you know that they have cancelled your visa. This is called ‘mandatory power cancellation’.

But other times, which is, in most cases, their power is discretionary. What this means is that the Department would have the discretion to consider not cancelling your visa even if they had originally thought about cancelling your visa in the first place.


Step 5 – What does the process look like?

So first you get this cancellation letter, and the Department tells you that they are considering cancelling your visa.

They give you some time to read the letter and then expect you to get back to the Department with your reasons for why your visa shouldn’t be cancelled.

The Department considers your response carefully and then they decide whether or not to cancel your visa.

As I mentioned earlier, even if there are grounds to cancel your visa, they might consider not cancelling it.

Step 6 – How do I respond to this letter?

It’s important to remember that your response may be the very last chance you get before the Department considers cancelling your visa.

One of the keys to a successful response in a situation like this is making sure that the Department is well aware of your individual situation.

You need to make sure that you clearly explain your circumstances around the reasons the Department has brought up, and your very personal situation in Australia, and you need to do this by providing clearly written submissions and comprehensive evidence relevant to your situation on time.

Step 7 – What should I do next?

Visa cancellation is a serious issue and Australian visa cancellation procedure is complicated. Moreover, what is really frustrating is that Immigration does not usually give you a second round of opportunity to respond to provide any further information if your first response was not good. It’s very likely that your first response will be your last response before Immigration will consider whether or not to cancel your visa, so you’ll want to make sure you make the best case you can.

If you are in this situation, I recommend you have an immigration lawyer (‘visa cancellation lawyer’) at your side to help you, who can understand your situation fully and who can suggest some good strategies to formulate your response to Immigration on time.

This is going to ensure that the Department is given all of your important information before they consider a decision making process about whether or not to cancel your visa and your argument to the Department is well supported in a legal and logical manner.

Contact Us

We have helped many clients rescue their visa through the NOICC responses to the Department and successfully bring them with a ‘positive’ response from 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.

On the other hand, if your visa is already cancelled, you may wish to check out here to find out more about your possible appeal rights.

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


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