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Novak Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled again

Australian minister Alex Hawke has exercised his personal power to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time. Deportation looms for the Serb but he still has legal options.

Novak Djokovic's visa cancelled, Melbourne, 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Early on Friday evening news that Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa had been cancelled once again travelled like a thunderbolt across social media. The Serb’s hard-won appeal, just five days ago, now recedes in the rearview mirror as a new challenge mounts for the world No 1 and his quest to play the Australian Open with a controversial vaccination exemption.

The hope is thinning.

“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” the statement by Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke read. “In making this decision I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic.”

Here is the full statement from Hawke:

Novak Djokovic Statement from Alex Hawke Australian Immigration Minister
Novak Djokovic Statement from Alex Hawke Australian Immigration Minister

Three-year ban a possibility to consider

In the coming days, if Djokovic and his legal team decide to challenge the Australian government’s decision, we’ll likely learn a lot more about what options Djokovic and his legal team have at their disposal.

Also of concern is the potential for a three-year ban from Australia, which can be applied in conjunction with such a deportation.

Djokovic’s lawyers considering legal options

According to the ever reliable Paul Sakkal of The Age, Djokovic’s laywers were served the papers at 6:03 PM Melbourne time and are considering options. Sakkal states that if they appeal they will want a streamlined trial.

Law experts believe that Djokovic’s chances of getting the decision overturned are extremely low.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a brief statement on the decision, saying “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today.”

Stay tuned to our updates as we sort through this rapidly evolving story.

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