Visa Cancellation - What Now?

Consequences of Visa Cancellation

Cancellation has a lot of negative connotations for your visa beyond looking bad on your migration record. The direct effects of visa cancellation will cease your current visa and cause you to become an ‘unlawful non-citizen’ who under the Migration Act are required to be detained and removed from Australia. You’ll need to take immediate steps to rectify your current visa status.

Unlawful non-citizens are not able to work or study or access any social security entitlements (including medicare).

You’ll also need to declare the cancellation on every future visa application in Australia, and many other countries also request this sort of information when applying for visas to those countries.

In most cases, before your visa is cancelled, you will be given a chance to respond to any adverse information. If you have received a notice of intention to consider cancellation, you should be proactive in addressing the details or issues raised in the letter. Failure to respond, or deal with the concerns adequately will inevitably result in visa cancellation. Apart from becoming an unlawful non-citizen, there can be a number of further legislative flow-on effects.

In most cases a visa cancellation will mean that you are subsequently caught by the section 48 bar, preventing any further visa applications whilst in Australia (you can read more about the section 48 bar here)

Remaining unlawful for a significant period of time, and subsequently leaving Australia may also result in an exclusion period preventing applications for any temporary visas, making it difficult to return to Australia.

The effects of cancellation are serious, and you should seek out qualified advice the moment cancellation or the threat of cancellation has become an issue.


Visa cancellation is not the end of the road, and the situation can still be salvaged. Visa holders that have had their visa cancelled can (depending on the grounds of cancellation) appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Those that have had their visa cancelled under the mandatory cancellation grounds for character related concerns can apply to have that mandatory cancellation revoked.

There are strict time limits involved in responding to a notice of intention to cancel, appealing a visa cancellation decision or having a mandatory cancellation revoked.

How We Can Help

These are just a few of the issues that our Registered Migration Agents can assist with: 

  • Reviewing the cancellation decision record and advising on your next steps
  • Developing a strategy to remain in Australia
  • Reviewing your prospects for appealing the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Our Registered Migration Agents can analyse your circumstances, identify any areas of risk and discuss the most appropriate strategy to meet your goals. They can also assist you in many different ways. For example full representation at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, to just a consultation on a specific point of concern or a review before lodgement for peace of mind.


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