Visa cancellation and refusals

What are the Consequences of a Visa Refusal or Cancellation? 

When person’s application for a visa is refused, or their visa is cancelled under section 501 of the Migration Act, unless they already hold a protection visa, the person becomes an unlawful non-citizen.

Reasons why your visa may be cancelled

Your visa may be cancelled if:

  • you were non-compliant with visa conditions
  • you did not meet our character requirements
  • you provided false information on your visa application

If you are in Australia or immigration clearance DOHA will usually notify you of our intention to consider cancelling your visa and give your the opportunity to put forward reasons why your visa should not be cancelled within a strict timeframe.

Character grounds

The Minister may cancel your visa if you:

  • have ever been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment (regardless of time actually served), or
  • have been convicted of, had a charge proven for or have been found guilty of a sexually-based crime involving a child

You will have 28 days to make representations why you think the decision to cancel your visa should be revoked. We will consider all the circumstances of your case before we respond.

Are you paying for sponsorship for an employer visa?

DOHA (Department of Home Affairs) may cancel your visa, if you are involved in paying for visa sponsorship which includes if you initiated or were complicit in the paying for sponsorship.

You will have a chance to put forward reasons why your visa should not be cancelled. 

You should include evidence showing: 

  • the strength of your ties to Australia
  • your contribution to the Australian community

Changes to study

Immigration may cancel your student visa if you are no longer enrolled in a registered course.

Your enrolment ends when you complete the course, even if this is earlier than the end date on your Confirmation of Enrolment.

If you complete the course for which your visa was granted, you will have 3 months to depart Australia or apply for another visa.

Circumstances in which a student visa may be cancelled:

  • you complete the course for which we granted your student visa and you do not leave Australia or apply for a new visa within 3 months.
  • you have changed courses since we granted your student visa and your new Confirmation of Enrolment for your principal course has an earlier end date and you do not leave Australia or apply for a new visa within 28 days of completing the course.
  • you are studying more than one course on your visa (course packaging) and you finish a course early and have a gap between courses of more than 2 months (except if this gap occurs between the end of an academic year and the beginning of a new academic year).


 Your visa might also be cancelled if you are non compliant with  any other student visa conditions. 

We are available to discuss the particular circumstances of the relevant cancellation notice and provide advice on the options available based on the specific findings in the decision record (as provided by DOHA).

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