If you have recently been refused an Australian visa, you may not be sure what you can do next. Can you simply fill out another visa application for another visa or a different visa? Is it possible to appeal the refusal? Does it matter if you are inside Australia or overseas? Must you have a sponsor in order to appeal?
In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the basics about what you can do after your visa has been denied by the Department of Home Affairs.
Refusal Is Different To Cancellation
If you apply for a visa that is not granted, then, unless it’s withdrawn or approved, your application will be “refused”. Visa refusal is different to visa cancellation. If you’ve been granted a visa and that permission is then taken away from you, that is a “cancellation”. In these circumstances, the Department of Home Affairs will tell you that your visa is “cancelled”.
Who Can Cancel My Visa?
Your employer or your partner cannot cancel your Visa. Visa cancellation is only effected by the Department. Certainly, the Department can rely on information shared with them by your employer or your partner in order to then cancel your Visa, but it is wrong for any employer-sponsor or partner-sponsor to threaten that “they” will cancel your Visa. They can’t. Only the Department can.
Reasons Your Visa Is Refused Or Cancelled
When a decision is made to refuse or cancel a visa, the notification of the decision to refuse or cancel is usually accompanied by another document. This other document will detail the reasons why your visa has been refused or cancelled. It’s important to understand what these reasons are.
The circumstances of your case are what determine whether or not you can reapply after visa refusal or visa cancellation. Your visa application can be denied for several reasons, but most of them fall into the following two categories:
Non-Character-Related Refusal or Cancellation
This is the most common type of visa refusal and cancellation. For example, if you unknowingly entered false information on your application, you may be denied – or if you did not meet the criteria required for a particular type of visa, it may be refused.
In most cases, this type of refusal or cancellation will not stop you from filing future applications, though there are some notable exceptions.
Character-Related Refusal or Cancellation
This type of cancellation is issued if you fail the “character test,” and is a various serious issue. Failing the character test usually allows the government to cancel or deny a visa. This is relevant to anyone with an extensive criminal record, who has committed criminal offences, has broken Australian migration laws, or is otherwise involved in serious criminal conduct.
The Toughest Cases
It is difficult to appeal a refusal or cancellation based on character-related grounds. It is difficult, but not necessarily impossible.
A character-based visa denial or visa cancellation can result in a permanent exclusion from Australia.
You can expect to be detained and you will have difficulty in getting a bridging visa (to exit detention) while any appeal is pending.
Can You Appeal?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, including the basis of the refusal or cancellation, and how recent it was, you may be able to appeal. In some limited cases, you may be able to make a new visa application.
The opportunities for appealing an adverse decision or applying for a different visa will vary, depending on your case.
Don’t Hide Refusal And Cancellation Decisions
If you have had a visa application refused or been subject to a visa cancellation in the past, you will be required to declare this when you are applying for future visas with the Department of Home Affairs. The previous adverse decision will almost always affect your eligibility for future visas.
Failing to disclose past visa refusal or cancellation decisions is not a smart thing to do. Immigration will find out if it doesn’t know already. So be upfront. Serious consequences flow from misleading the Department about your immigration history.
Take Action Immediately
If your visa is cancelled and you are currently living in Australia, you’ll almost always need to apply for a BVE (Bridging Visa E) right away. This visa will give you time to make the arrangements for leaving Australia – or give you time to apply for a limited group of visas or possibly appeal.
A BVE may also be issued if you plan to take your cancellation case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), formerly known as the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT).
Re-Apply Or File An Appeal
Your next step depends on the reasons for your visa refusal or cancellation, and the type of permission that has been denied or cancelled.
In some cases, you may simply need to fill out a fresh (possibly different) type of visa application – and you may be approved.
However, in other cases, your best option is to appeal the adverse in your case. Most visa types lodged onshore will allow you to file an appeal with the Department of Immigration. Some visa applications lodged offshore with a sponsor involved can also have appeal rights.
Revocation of Cancelled Visas
The term revocation is usually associated when a Visa has either been mandatorily cancelled because of the operation of section 501 of the Migration Act or, if a Visa is cancelled was somebody is abroad. In particular circumstances an application is required to be made for a revocation of the cancellation decision, and this needs to be done within the specified period and the submission needs to address a particular set of points.
Your next step!
To find out which option is right for you, get in touch with Nilesh Nandan at MyVisa Immigration Advisory for a case review and discussion about your options. Together, we can determine the best path forward if you have been subjected to visa cancellation or refusal in Australia. Contact us online now to get started.