One of the biggest anxieties for people that hold temporary visas is the insecurity.
The fear that at any time the government could cancel their visa and they will be put back on the first flight to their country or worse – in detention.
What most people don’t understand is that there are processes in place to protect you, and like with anything, the more you understand about it the less scary it will be!
We want to take some of that fear away for you, by explaining the process a little more.
Can my visa just be cancelled?
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) cannot cancel a visa without a reason. You would have needed to have done something very wrong for this to happen. This could be either not following one of your visa conditions or being charged with a crime. The very important thing to remember is that if you are in Australia they must give you notice before they can cancel your visa! If you are in Australia, you will know that they are thinking about cancelling your visa before they cancel it and you will have a chance to fight for it not to be cancelled.
The process for a temporary visa cancellation if you are in Australia is:
- The DIBP will receive information that could lead to the cancellation (e.g. a tip that you are breaching a visa condition or information from the police that you have been charged for a crime). This will then go to their monitoring and compliance department for action.
- A case officer from the monitoring and compliance section will send you a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your visa. This will outline why they are thinking about cancelling your visa and how long you have to respond to this information.
- You can provide a response to the NOICC giving reasons why your visa should not be cancelled. This must be received within the period that they provide.
- They will consider the reasons for the cancellation and the response that you have given and make a decision to cancel your visa, or to leave it as is.
- You will be notified of the decision.
If you are outside of Australia then the process is very different, which is something to keep in mind if you go overseas.
What can I do?
It is very important that you know how you can avoid issues with your visa, here are some handy tips:
- Know your visa conditions – understand what these mean to you personally and how you can adhere to them.
- Keep the DIBP updated – notify them of any changes in your circumstances, no matter how little you think they are. Let them know if you get a new passport, have moved to a new house, or got married etc.
- Make sure your address is current – this is very important. You need to make sure that your contact details are always current. If there is an issue with your visa, they will need to contact you and if something goes to an old address, you could be in a lot of trouble!
- Don’t listen to your friends – when it comes to visas, you need to know your personal situation, not your friends’. Speak to a professional or the DIBP directly about your details. Do not listen to what your friends say about their situation as this could be very different to yours!
- Work with a professional you trust – find a Registered Migration Agent you trust and can rely on. If you receive any contact from the DIBP, let them know straight away as this could be the difference in your visa being cancelled or not. Ask them questions so you understand your situation and most importantly – tell them EVERYTHING! Your Agent should be able to tell you when the DIBP needs to be informed of something, guide you in anything you need to do and make sure you meet all your DIBP obligations.
It is very important to note that this is general information. There are many grounds that DIBP can cancel a visa, depending on what type of visa it is and the reason for the cancellation, so it is best to speak to someone directly about your situation if you have concerns.
You are welcome to contact our Migration team at [email protected] or +61 (0)7 3503 1444 if you have any concerns about your own visa status, would like to apply for a visa or just to understand the processes a little more!