Australian Open: Djokovic's visa canceled by Australian Immigration Minister

Alex Hawke, Australian Minister for Immigration, has used his power to cancel the visa allowing Novak Djokovic to remain in the country due to his health status. The lawyers of the world number 1 will file an appeal in court.

The ax fell this Friday in Australia. After several days of vagueness and waiting, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke, chose to use his discretionary power to cancel the visa of Novak Djokovic. A decision that falls three days before the start of the Australian Open next Monday (from 10 to 30 January) in Melbourne. The lawyers of the Serbian tennis player are preparing a legal appeal for an injunction.

“Today I exercised my power under the article 133C (3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic for reasons of health and good order, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so, said Alex Hawke in remarks reported by The Sydney Morning Herald. pursuant to orders from the Federal Circuit and Family Court dated 10 January 2022, reversing an earlier annulment decision on grounds of procedural fairness.”

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An accelerated procedure to settle the Djokovic case?

Before Alex Hawke’s decision, Novak Djokovic had continued his preparation for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year e training normally this Friday morning (9am 30 local time).

Seeded number 1 at the Australian Open, the “Djoker” does not know if he will be able to try to win a tenth title there. With the cancellation of his visa, his participation seems increasingly compromised. Enough to give rise to a hell of a headache for the organizers who would be forced to modify their table.

According to several Australian media, Novak Djokovic’s appeal hearing could be the subject of an accelerated procedure and to be held on Sunday. From then on, the 34 year-old Serb keeps the hope of participating in the first round of the Australian Open against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in case of victory in court.

Djokovic banned in Australia for three years?

In the event of an appeal filed by the current world number 1, the case would go to judge Anthony Kelly, the one who agreed with the Serb and revoked his first visa cancellation made by the Australian government, but the case could then be sent back to the Federal Court.

If Novak Djokovic sees his request rejected by the Australian courts, the Serb would then be forced to leave the country in a few hours. Worse, “Nole” faces a long absence in Australia. And for good reason, the law prohibits any request for an additional visa for three years to a person who has already been refused.

Unless there is an exemption, Novak Djokovic would therefore fall under the this law. By using his personal power to cancel the tennis player’s visa, Minister Alex Hawke offered a new twist to this improbable affair which is far from over.