Have you received a letter from the Department of Home Affairs telling you that they are considering cancelling your visa? This is called a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation of visa. Don’t ignore it. It’s important to act quickly. UPDATE: check out Part 2 of the video at the end of this post.
Does this mean your visa is cancelled?
No. It means that for some reason the Department is thinking about cancelling your visa, and they are asking you to comment on this. They want you to tell them why your visa should not be cancelled.
What can you do?
Firstly, you need to understand that if you ignore the letter and they cancel your visa, they will detain you and remove you from Australia. In many cases this means you won’t be able to apply for a new visa for a period of time, and you won’t be able to return to the country. So don’t risk cancellation.
Read the letter carefully and figure out how much time you have to respond.
Then you should speak with an immigration lawyer. Don’t delay this as your lawyer will need some time to consider your case. Your lawyer will tell you whether the notice you received from the Department is valid at all. If it is not valid, they won’t be able to cancel your visa.
Your lawyer will also tell you if there are grounds to cancel your visa. For example, the Department might believe that you have breached some conditions of your visa, but that may not be correct. Or they may say that you provided them incorrect information, but there may be ways to argue that the information you supplied was correct. The point is this: if there are no grounds to cancel your visa, your lawyer can make detailed and forceful submissions to defend you.
If there are grounds to cancel the visa, it may still be possible that for some reason the visa should not be cancelled. The Department does have discretion. For example, they can decide that even though you breached your visa conditions, it’s still better not to cancel your visa, because you may have children here who need your support. In other words, the arguments against cancellation are stronger than the arguments in favour of cancellation. It is your responsibility to make sure your arguments are strong enough, and a lawyer can help you with this.
Remember, if you take the notice seriously and prepare well, including engaging a lawyer, you maximise the chances of avoiding a visa cancellation.
How we help
As soon as you contact us, we will identify the best argument in your favour. Obviously, this varies case by case. You might have children here who need your help. You may need medical treatment which is not available in your home country. You might be in danger in your home country. The list goes on. Contact us without delay and we will build a strong argument for you.
Visa already cancelled?
You may have appeal rights. Check out our appeals page here for more information – we also have videos clearly explaining the appeals process.