Skip to content

Novak Djokovic faces deportation after Australian government revokes visa for second time

Tennis star Novak Djokovic is at risk of deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for the second time.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said on Friday he had used his discretion to revoke the 34-year-old Serbian’s visa on public policy grounds three days before the start of the Australian Open.

Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the annulment to the Federal Circuit and Family Court, as they successfully did after the first annulment.

Hawke said he canceled the visa for “reasons of health and good order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so.”

“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hawke said in a statement, referring to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

This is the second time Djokovic’s visa has been canceled since arriving in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title.

His exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to compete has been approved by the state government of Victoria and Tennis Australia, the tournament organizer. This apparently enabled him to receive a visa to travel.

WATCH | Djokovic says he made a mistake on the entry form for Australia:

Novak Djokovic blames human error for inaccurate travel declaration

Novak Djokovic says human error is to blame for an inaccurate travel declaration form which claimed the tennis champion had not traveled for two weeks before arriving in Australia for an upcoming tournament in Melbourne. 1:52

But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa upon arrival in Melbourne. Djokovic spent four nights in a migrant detention hotel before a judge overturned the ruling on Monday.

Djokovic’s legal team crippled, lawyer says

Melbourne-based immigration attorney Kian Bone said Djokovic’s lawyers faced an “extremely difficult” task of securing court orders over the weekend to allow their client to play the role. next week.

“For Djokovic to get the results he needs to play, it would be extremely difficult to get this weekend,” Bone said.

Hawke’s delay in making a decision bordered on punishment, Bone said.

“If you left him later than he has now, I think strategically he (Hawke) is really blocking Djokovic’s legal team, in terms of the types of options. or recourse he might get, “Bone said hours before the decision was made. announcement.

Lawyers would have to appear before a duty judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court or a senior judge of the Federal Court to obtain two urgent orders.

An order would be an injunction preventing his deportation, like the order he obtained last week. The second would order Hawke to grant Djokovic a visa to play.

This second order has almost no precedent, ”said Bone. “Very rarely do courts order a member of the executive government to grant a visa.