Reasons why visas can be cancelled

With Djokovic’s high-profile two visa cancellation cases, current visa holders or current and future visa applicants might be asking what the grounds for visa cancellation are. This article intends to provide an overview and examples of reasons where visas can be cancelled and offer some tips to ensure that visa holders don’t get to a point where their visa can be cancelled.

Visa cancellation grounds

The Department of Home Affairs Minister (also through the delegates, the Case Officers) has the power to cancel visas based on different grounds. These grounds include non-compliance of a visa condition/s; if the reason that was relied upon by the Case Officer for which a visa was granted no longer exist or did not exist; if the visa holder poses a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community; if the visa holder provided incorrect information in which that particular information was material for the application that led to the visa being granted; or if the visa holder has engaged in paying for his/her visa sponsorship.


A Visitor Visa (subclass 600) was cancelled because the visa holder was found to be working in an establishment. Visitor visas are issued with a mandatory no work condition (8101) therefore, working while on a visitor visa is a breach of this condition and can lead to visa cancellation.

A Student Visa (subclass 500) was cancelled because the visa holder decided not to attend the class that he was enrolled for as per his Confirmation of Enrolment.  This is in breach of the student visa condition 8202 which requires student visa holders to remain enrolled and maintain satisfactory attendance and progress of their course of study.

A Partner Visa (subclass 801) was cancelled as it was found that the information provided regarding the date of marriage and the date of the visa holder’s divorce from a previous relationship did not match up. Note that Partner Visa 801 is a permanent residency visa but was still cancelled due to providing incorrect or misleading information.

A Bridging Visa (subclass 010) was cancelled because it was found that the visa holder provided bogus documents when he applied for his previous Visitor Visa (Business stream). In this case, the Bridging Visa holder entered Australia on a Visitor Visa and then applied for a Partner Visa while in Australia (therefore, he was issued a Bridging Visa). It is important to note that even if his Visitor visa had expired and he moved on to a Bridging Visa, the Department of Home Affairs still has the power to cancel his Bridging Visa on grounds related to his previous visa.

A Work visa (subclass 482) was cancelled because the employer’s standard business sponsorship was cancelled. This is an example of a ground whereby the reason that was relied upon by the Case Officer for which the visa was granted, no longer exists. Work visa applicants should have an approved sponsor and, in this case, the employer’s sponsorship was cancelled which led to the 482 visa being cancelled as well.


Here are some tips to avoid your visa being cancelled:

  1. Be truthful with your visa application when providing information on your application form and when presenting supporting documents.  Do not provide incorrect, misleading or bogus information. Note that all the information and documents you provide to the Department of Home Affairs stay in your record permanently and can be checked by your Case Officer at any time, even for future visa applications.
  2. Know and understand your visa conditions.  Always adhere to them.  Due to the pandemic, temporary relaxation to work restrictions were implemented.  Make sure those temporary work restrictions relaxation apply to you before working beyond your maximum work hours per week.
  3. Never engage in paying for visa sponsorship. If you are being lured by an employer for a work visa sponsorship in exchange for money or unpaid work, do not agree to this arrangement.  It is mandatory for sponsors(employers) to pay for the sponsorship costs and pay the sponsored employee’s salary within the annual market salary rate and above AU$53,900 per year.
  4. Do not involve yourself in activities that may lead to the disruption of the health, safety or good order of the Australian community.  Stay away from activities that can lead to a criminal offence against you.
  5. In case you get a letter from the Department that your visa is to be cancelled (Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation), get professional advice or assistance from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.

For current visa holders, whether you got your visa grant fast and easy or with difficulties, protect your visa by understanding the visa cancellation grounds and staying away from any reasons that may lead to your visa getting cancelled.