Visa cancellation on character grounds is a very serious issue. Unless you manage to overturn the decision, you will be forever prevented from returning to Australia. And this is not all: if you are inside Australia, you can’t apply for another visa so even if you appeal the decision, you will be in immigration detention until the appeal is heard which makes it harder to protect your rights.
If you contact us after your visa has been cancelled (or refused) on character grounds, this means you are likely in Immigration Detention. As a first step we will either visit you in person or speak to you in detail on the phone to discuss your case.
The most important is that there is a very limited timeframe to lodge an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. It is critically important that you enable us to lodge your appeal on time.
Once we have lodged your appeal, we immediately start preparing for the hearing, because the whole process from start to finish is only 84 days long. We have to work out with you a good strategy from the very beginning because:
The hearing is much like a courtroom trial you would have seen on TV before. The Tribunal member sits in the front, and the lawyers for both sides make submissions, present witnesses, cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments. The hearing can last 2 days. It is likely to be held towards the end of the 84 day period and a decision will be made by the 84th day (from the date on which you filed your appeal).
Oszkar Denes, immigration lawyer, explains the AAT appeal process when a visa was cancelled or refused on character grounds.
If you are serving a full time prison sentence and you fail the character test, then your visa will automatically be cancelled. Without prior notice. In practice, this means that you will be taken from jail straight to Immigration detention.
However, you can request a revocation, meaning that the Minister (or his or her delegate) can decide to return your visa to you. In your revocation request, you need to explain in detail what are the grounds on which you think your visa should be returned to you. For example:
If you submit a revocation request, it will be scrutinised by the Department of Immigration. They will want supporting evidence and won’t just take your word without more.
We have had several successful revocation applications. We help our clients by identifying their strongest arguments, collating all relevant evidence, and drafting powerful submissions on their behalf. We speak with family members, employers, community members who can provide supporting evidence. We obtain relevant court records and highlight mitigating circumstances. In short, we provide the Department everything they want to see in order to make a positive decision.