Consequences of Visa Refusal or Cancellation in Australia

August 19th, 2021

Visa Refusal or Cancellation in Australia

When applying for an Australian visa, one needs to understand its eligibility and documentation requirements. Regardless of your careful considerations, you may miss out on a few crucial details or misinterpret information, resulting in refusal or cancellation of visa application. When denied an Australian visa, you may have to set back your travel plans or business trip. Sometimes, you may not even be eligible to apply for other visas. However, you can try submitting a visa appeal at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). 

Considering taking immigration advice in Melbourne from a law expert will help you during such situations.

Your visa application might be refused or cancelled due to the following reasons:

Reasons Your Visa Application Was Cancelled or Refused

  • Incomplete application form
  • Inadequate or false Information
  • Invalid or damaged passport
  • Lack of financial support proof
  • Lack of professional help
  • Lack of health insurance
  • Failure to answer additional requests
  • Character Requirement Failure
  • Past criminal records

Now let’s understand,

The Consequences of Visa Refusal or Cancellation in Australia

All visa applications are refused or cancelled based on section 501 of the Migration Act. According to this act, if a person’s visa application is refused or cancelled, they become an unlawful non-citizen of Australia. Being an unlawful non-citizen, the person is placed in an immigration detention centre or detained until he or she is:

  • granted a visa;
  • deported; or 
  • removed from Australia.

According to a statistic by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, around 1018 visa applications were cancelled, while 345 were refused during the financial year 2019-2020. As of the financial year 2020-2021, 946 visa applications are already cancelled, while 785 are recorded as refused ones by delegates of the Department of Home Affairs.

The legislative amendments to the Migration Act 1958 (December 2014) introduced a new mandatory cancellation provision under section 501(3A), which led to a significant rise in visa cancellations based on character grounds, between financial years 2013–14 and 2020–21.

Apart from being detained and possibly removed from Australia, a person who has a visa refused or cancelled under section 501 of the Migration Act:

  • Cannot apply for another visa while in Australia. However, they can apply for a protection visa or a ‘removal pending’ bridging visa.
  • If removed from Australia due to cancellation, they will not be eligible for most types of visas. The decision and acceptance of your visa application also depend on whether or not you were engaged in any serious or general conduct (criminal record or offence).

How Do I Appeal a Visa Refusal in Australia?

In case your Australian visa application is denied, here are a few steps to appeal for a refused visa:

Apply At the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

  • If your visa application request is denied, you need to apply for a visa refusal appeal at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). You can choose to apply for an appeal online at the official website of the AAT or simply submit a paper application. However, online applications are more convenient and easier to review.
  • You have to send the written request within 28 days from the issuance of a decision notice by the Department of Home Affairs. The time for an appeal for those in Immigration detention is even shorter, as they have to submit the appeal within 7 days. If you miss the deadline, neither the Immigration Office nor AAT will entertain you.
  • However, the appeal time may also vary based on the reason for visa refusal and the type of visa applied. Once the appeal application is submitted, the Immigration Office will send a written decision which will have all the information regarding the deadline for appeal and how to appeal a visa refusal.

Pay the Appeal Fee

  • Some applications require you to pay a certain sum of money to review your appeal request. The payment should be made before the deadline of an appeal request. You can make the payment through cheques, credit cards, money orders, or an electronic funds transfer at the point of sale (EFTPOS). 

Our Australian immigration lawyers in Melbourne can offer sound advice related to visa application refusal or cancellation matters. Our immigration lawyer in Melbourne will take care of the entire process and plan strategies to tackle your visa cancellation matter. Call 03 9562 2662 to talk to one of our law experts today.


Taking the next step and contacting a lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your matter with ease.