My Australian Visa is Cancelled! What do I do now?

6 Common Reasons why your Australian visa can be cancelled. 

The following scenarios are common:

  • Cancelled due to breaching a visa condition.
  • Cancelled on reasonable suspicion that conditions of the visa are being breached.
  • Cancelled due to pending criminal charges.
  • Cancelled due to providing false and misleading information.
  • Cancelled due to failure of the character test.
  • Student visa holders not meeting the requirements of their course or not being enrolled full time.


Australian Visa Cancellations

If you are currently serving a prison sentence and are not an Australian citizen, you may be at risk of having your visa cancelled.

The Department of Home Affairs must automatically cancel your visa if you:

  • are currently serving a full-time prison sentence and
  • have been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment (this includes time already served) or
  • have been sentenced to life imprisonment or
  • have been sentenced to death or
  • have been found guilty of a sexual offence involving a child.


Will my Australian visa be cancelled?

If you meet the above criteria, the Department of Home Affairs will give or send you a letter cancelling your visa. This is called a Notice of Visa Cancellation.

This letter also tells you that you can apply to ‘revoke’ the department’s decision. ‘Revoke’ means asking the department to reverse its decision to cancel your visa.

There are strict time limits:

  • if a staff member from the department handed you the letter, you only have 28 days to apply for revocation from the date of the letter
  • if the department sent you the letter by post, you only have 35 days to apply from the date of the letter.

If you miss the deadline to apply, you will not be able to apply for revocation. You can be removed from Australia once you finish your prison sentence.

Even if your visa is not mandatorily cancelled, the department still has other powers to cancel your visa on ‘character grounds’ and may send you a letter called a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancelling Your Visa.

If the department sends you one of these letters or you think that the Department may cancel your visa, get legal advice immediately.


What happens after I apply for a Visa revocation?

The department will send you a letter to let you know that they got your revocation application.

The department will begin assessing whether you should get back your visa. If the department has any information that may disadvantage your application, they will write to you to ask you to comment on that information.

Once the department makes its decision, it will send you a letter telling you what they have decided.

While waiting for the department to consider your revocation request, you will continue to be detained, either in prison or immigration detention.

If the department does not agree to give back your visa, you will have to leave Australia as soon as possible after your sentence is completed.

If you have already finished your sentence and are in immigration detention when the department decides not to give the visa back, you will be removed from Australia as soon as possible.


What can I do if my Australian visa revocation request is denied?

If the department does not agree to give your visa back you have two options:

  • if a staff member of the Department made the decision, you will have 9 days to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
  • if the Minister for Home Affairs (the Minister) made the decision, you will not be able to go to the AAT. You may have grounds for appealing the Minister’s decision to the Federal Court of Australia.

Challenging a decision about revocation can be very hard. Get legal advice.


Where can I get legal help?


Need help with getting Australian Visas?


Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000



We will help applicants by exploring your visa options and securing the application. If your would like to discuss applicants visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please enquire or book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].  



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