What to Do After Receiving a Visa Refusal or Cancellation

Written by Julie Williams | MARN 9903637 | Published 30 April 2024

What could be more devastating than receiving a visa refusal? Encountering a visa refusal or having your Australian visa revoked is more than just a bureaucratic setback – it’s a deeply personal and often disheartening experience. It shatters expectations, disrupts plans, and introduces uncertainty about the future.

You may be wondering, ‘Can I still apply for an Australian visa after being refused?’ or ‘Can I try again?’ or perhaps you’re simply wondering, ‘What now?’

Once the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) has cancelled your visa or refused your visa application, you will receive written notice about the refusal or cancellation, including whether the decision can be reviewed.

At Migration Downunder we recognise the profound impact of visa setbacks and the inherent complexity of navigating the aftermath of these decisions. In the midst of this confusion and disappointment, the need for clarity, guidance, and a steadfast roadmap becomes paramount.

Our team are ready to provide compassionate support, expert guidance, and tailored solutions to individuals grappling with the aftermath of refusal or cancellation.

Understanding the Distinction

Visa Refusal

Refusal refers to when a visa application has not been granted.

Reasons for visa refusal

Generally, we see applications refused due to:

Non-character-related reasons, for example:

  • Failed to provide “at time of application” documentation;
  • Provide insufficient information;
  • Doesn’t respond to a further request for information;
  • Cannot establish sufficient evidence to support the visa class applying under
  • Health issues

Character-related reasons, for example:

  • Failing the character test;
  • Provide false or incorrect information;
  • Has a serious criminal history

Consequences of visa refusal

If you are in Australia at time of your visa refusal, you will need to depart Australia within a set period of time unless you are still holding a substantive visa.

If you are on a Bridging Visa, this will impact your ability to apply for a further visa.

Visa Cancellation

Cancellation refers to when your visa has been granted, and the permission is then taken away from you.

Reasons for visa cancellation

Generally, we see applications cancelled due to:

  • Non-compliant with visa conditions
  • Not meeting the character requirements
  • Provided false information through the visa application process, which has later been discovered

These are just some common reasons why a visa application has been cancelled; however, it is important to note that each individual case is different.

Consequences of visa cancellation

If a visa is cancelled by the Department of Home Affairs, you immediately become unlawful.

My Visa has been Refused/Cancelled. What are My Next Steps?

Potential Options

Amid all this uncertainty, it is important to note that such a decision is not necessarily the end of your migration journey to Australia. Generally, there is an option to appeal the decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

You cannot access Ministerial Intervention, unless you’ve taken the first step of applying for an Appeal.

There are strict time limits on your right to review or apply for an appeal. If you do not act in time, you will lose your ability to have the decision reviewed.

What next?

If your visa is refused or cancelled, make sure you respond quickly by getting the assistance of a registered migration agent, as there are strict timelines for you to respond to your visa refusal or cancellation.

You become unlawful immediately upon the visa cancellation, it’s important that you legalise your status in Australia through the review and/or appeal process. The legalisation process would involve in application/s for a bridging visa.

You may become unlawful in a short period of time upon receiving your visa refusal, if you are on a bridging visa at time of receiving the refusal notice.  Or, if you proceed with a merit review through the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) within the specified timeframe, you will be able to remain in Australia on the same bridging visa granted at time of your visa application.

Don’t conceal your refusal or cancellation.

It is important to disclose any previous visa refusal or cancellation decisions when applying for future visas. It is a requirement to declare this and failing to do so may result in serious consequences.

How we can help.

Your next steps depend on your reason for refusal or cancellation and your individual circumstances.

At Migration Downunder, we can assist you in navigating individual and complex visa challenges. Our experienced migration agents have a proven track record of assisting clients through the review process, particularly with the AAT.

Don’t let a visa setback derail your Australian aspirations. Contact us today to discuss your options and regain momentum towards realising your immigration goals.

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Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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