What you need to know about Mandatory Visa Cancellations and Prison Sentences in Australia

If you have a family member currently serving a prison sentence and they are not an Australian citizen, be aware that their visa may be at risk of being cancelled. Mandatory visa cancellations may apply if:

  • are currently serving a full-time prison sentence and
  • have been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment (this includes time already served) or
  • have been sentenced to life imprisonment or
  • have been sentenced to death or
  • have been found guilty of a sexual offence involving a child.

If you have a family member or friend that has been served with a cancellation notice we can help.

Will your family member’s visa be cancelled?

Cancellation Notice – If your family member meets the above criteria, the Department will issue them a notice cancelling their visa.

Revocation Request – Your family member can seek to have the cancellation revoked. A revocation request must be submitted to the Department within the prescribed time limit.

The time available to submit the request is as follows:

  • if a staff member from the Department handed the notice to your family member, they have only 28 days from the date of the notice to submit their revocation request; or
  • if the Department sent your family member the notice by post, they have 35 days from the date of the notice to submit their revocation request.


If your family member fails to submit their revocation request within the time limit, their revocation request will not be considered. Further on completion of their sentence, the Department of Home Affairs will look to detain them before removing them from Australia.

Even if your family member’s visa is not mandatorily cancelled, the Department of Home Affairs has other powers to cancel a person’s visa on ‘character grounds’ and in turn may send your family member a letter called a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC).

Alan Rigas Solicitors have been dealing with cancellation and visa matters in Australia for over 20 years.

Contact Us today to discuss your needs as time limits cannot be extended: 02 9635 5333

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