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Visa Cancellations – Most Common Reasons

Having a visa cancellation can be detrimental to your future plans and dreams of remaining in Australia – these plans have been paused indefinitely, and you don’t know what to do next.
 
 
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) can cancel a visa for many reasons, which we will explain in this blog. Keep in mind that once the DHA has cancelled your visa, you will automatically become an unlawful non-citizen and you will need to be issued a Bridging Visa E (if you are onshore). In addition, once this cancellation occurs, you will face an automatic 3 year ban to re-enter Australia (unless you are eligible, and apply, for a Permanent Visa).
 
 
The major grounds for cancellation sections are as follows (from the Migration Act 1958):
 
Section 109 – Cancellation of Visa if Information is Incorrect
If your visa was cancelled under s109, the DHA may have discovered that, amongst other evidence, that:
  • You provided a bogus/doctored/altered/counterfeit document before, during or after a visa application
  • You provided misleading information before, during or after a visa application
  • You failed to correct incorrect answers after a visa application
  • You failed to notify the DHA of a change in circumstances
 
Section 116 – Cancellation on Specified Grounds
If your visa was cancelled under s116, the DHA may have discovered that, amongst other evidence, that:
  • You have never been entitled to hold the specific visa
  • You are no longer entitled to hold the specific visa
  • You were non compliant with the visa conditions
  • You are a risk to the community
  • You are a non-genuine temporary visa holder
 
Section 134B – Emergency Cancellation on Security Grounds
If you are overseas and your visa was cancelled without notice under s134B, the DHA decided that you represented a security risk to Australia. For this to happen, all 4 following factors must exist:
  • The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) made an assessment on you
  • The assessment contains advice that ASIO suspects that you might be, directly or indirectly, a risk to Australian security
  • The assessment contains a recommendation that all visas held by you are cancelled under s134
  • You are offshore
 
Section 140 – Consequential Cancellation
If you are a Family Member/Dependent on another person’s visa, and their visa is cancelled, then your visa will also be cancelled, depending on the grounds of cancellation.
 
 
Section 137J – Non-Complying Students may have their visas automatically Cancelled
If you are on a Student Visa and have breached the conditions of your visa, it will be automatically cancelled until s137j.
 
 
Section 501 – Cancellation of Visas due to the failure of the Character Test
Failure to meet character grounds may result in the loss of your visa. You may have your visa cancelled under s501 if you:
  • Are convicted of an offence
 
You will usually receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your visa before cancellation. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information. In most cases, you will have the right to appeal once your visa is cancelled.
 
 
Relevant Links
  • For details on how to appeal a Visa Cancellation, please click here.