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Avoid having your Australian visa cancelled in 2017

by Sam Hopwood | May 17, 2017
  • Every year thousands of would-be immigrants and visitors to Australia have their visas cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DBIP). There are literally hundreds of reasons why a visa can be cancelled, so if you’re hoping to live, work or travel through Australia, you best be aware of some of the most common causes of cancellation.
  • Australian flag and brick wall

    The DBIP is serious, so you should be too

    The secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Michael Pezzullo, told a Senate estimates hearing that the department has already cancelled over 27,000 visas during the first half of this financial year for a variety of reasons.

    How to pass the character test

    Most visa refusals in 2017 were on character grounds. To obtain and retain an Australian visa, one needs to pass the character test and continue to adhere to the standards of the character test throughout their stay in Australia. You will not pass the character test if:

    • You have a substantial criminal record
    • You have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention
    • You have been associated with or involved in criminal conduct
    • Your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character
    • There is a risk that while in Australia you might engage in criminal activity

    Please note: This is not the full list of character requirements. For the comprehensive list, see the DIBP fact sheet.

    In order to make sure you pass the character test, ensure you have a valid police clearance certificate from your country of residence. There are different standards for different countries, so be sure to speak to an Australian registered migration agent before you make your visa application.

    You don’t have to go home, but you can’t overstay here

    During this financial year, the department cancelled over 15,000 visas due to people overstaying. If one does not apply to extend their visa on time, and is found to be staying on an expired visa, the DIBP will ensure you leave Australia immediately, and this will come up on your immigration record. This will make it much harder for you to successfully apply for subsequent Australian visas.

    Don’t lie about the work you intend to do

    Another major reason for the cancellation of visas is unlawful working. Non-Australians who are on visas that do not grant one the right to work in Australia, and who are then found to be working, will have their visas cancelled.

    Again, you will be immediately deported and any subsequent application you make to the DIBP for a visa will be prejudiced. Here are some of the available Australian working visas.

    Looking to apply for, or extend, your Australian visa? Our team of registered Australian Migration Agents is here to help. Give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7527 or get in touch via email on

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