Visa Cancellation

About Visa Cancellation

Visa cancellations are a critical aspect of Australian immigration law, directly impacting individuals’ ability to reside, work, or study in Australia. Governed by the Migration Act 1958, visa cancellations can occur for various reasons, each carrying its own set of procedures and consequences. Understanding these reasons, the legal processes involved, and the rights of visa holders is essential for anyone facing potential visa cancellation.

Legislative Framework

The Migration Act 1958 outlines the conditions under which a visa can be cancelled. Key sections of this Act that frequently lead to visa cancellations include:

  • Section 57 (Natural Justice Letters): This section ensures that individuals are given a fair opportunity to respond to any adverse information that might lead to the refusal of their visa application.
  • Section 116 (General Visa Cancellations): This section covers a broad range of reasons for visa cancellation, including non-compliance with visa conditions, provision of false or misleading information, or circumstances that affect the health, safety, or good order of the Australian community.
  • Section 501 (Character Grounds): This section allows for visa cancellation if the visa holder does not meet the character requirements, often related to criminal history or associations with criminal activities.

Common Reasons for Visa Cancellations

Visa cancellations can occur for various reasons, such as:
  • Non-Compliance with Visa Conditions: Failing to adhere to the terms and conditions of the visa.
  • Providing False or Misleading Information: Submitting incorrect details or omitting relevant information in the visa application.
  • Criminal Convictions: Having a substantial criminal record, or being found guilty of certain offenses, particularly those involving moral turpitude.
  • Risks to Public Safety or Health: Situations where the visa holder’s presence in Australia is considered a threat to public health or safety.

Process of Visa Cancellation

Step 1


A formal notification by the Department of Home Affairs indicating the potential cancellation of the visa.

Step 2

Opportunity to Respond

Visa holders are usually given a chance to present their case or provide additional information before a final decision is made.

Step 3


After considering the response, the Department decides whether to proceed with the cancellation.

Rights and Appeal Process

Step 1

Legal Representation

Visa holders can seek legal advice and representation to navigate the appeal process effectively.

Step 2

Right to Appeal

Most visa cancellations are reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), offering an opportunity to contest the decision.

Types of Decisions

  • Affirms:
    The AAT agrees with the original decision and keeps it as is.
  • Sets Aside:
    The AAT completely overturns the original decision.
  • Remits:
    The AAT sends the case back to the original decision-maker for re-evaluation.

AAT‘s Timelines

If you’re in the community, you have 21 days to apply from the date you were notified of the refusal. The notification date is determined by your method of receipt:

  • If received by email, it’s the day you got the email.
  • If received via registered post, it’s 7 working days from the date on the letter.
  • If you’re in immigration detention, the time limit is 7 working days.

It’s important to note that immigration authorities typically send notifications via email, and if the email is found in your spam folder, it is still considered as being notified.


AAT Visa Appeal Application Fee
AUD 3,374

The fee is subject to the latest pricing set by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Processing time

Processing Times (Calendar Days) – 1st July 2023, to 30th Dec 2023

Visa Category50% of Cases (days)90% of Cases (days)
Nomination/Sponsor Approval13061464
Permanent Business12951491
Skill Linked7221132
Student Cancellation393502
Student Refusal435608
Temporary Work9031408
Total Migration Categories7011604
Total Protection Categories15772212

(Note: The numbers represent the median (50%) and 95th percentile (95%) processing times in calendar days for reviews finalized between July 1, 2023, and December 30, 2023.)

AAT review processing times are determined by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and can vary based on the case category and workload. Ensure you submit all required documents with your AAT review application to avoid potential delays. Please note that processing times may change, and the provided estimates are for general reference only.