The government has released several statistics showing a massive increase in visa cancellations over previous years.
Between 1 July -31 December 2016, the government cancelled over 27,000 visas. Around 9000 of these were student visas.
This is in line with recent large increases in student visa cancellations:
2013/14 financial year: 7,905 cancellations
2014/15 financial year: 10,825 cancellations
2015/16 financial year: 19,688 cancellations
These increases are related to a new Department model for streamlining student visa cancellations. Most student visas are cancelled while the visa holder is outside Australia, so pay careful attention if you leave Australia while holding a student visa.
You should also pay close attention to your visa conditions including work restrictions and requirements for progressing in your course. If you are a student visa holder who is concerned about your visa conditions, call us on 08 6161 9239.
In the last few years, new laws have come into effect that add new grounds for failing the character test and ways for the Minister to personally cancel visas. As a result, there has also been a massive increase in cancellations on character grounds:
2013/14 financial year: 76 cancellations
2014/15 financial year: 580 cancellations
2015/16 financial year: 983 cancellations
First half of 2016/17 financial year: 527 cancellations
Refusals based on character have also jumped from 81 in 2013/14 to 423 in 2015/16.
SUBCLASS 457 CANCELLATIONS
The government has not released statistics on subclass 457 cancellations, but they have changed their policies in recent years to cancel visas more quickly if a 457 holder can’t find a new sponsor. There is a condition on all 457 visas that if you stop working for your sponsor, you must find another sponsor to nominate you within a period of time. That period of time is 90 days for people granted their visa before 19 November 2016 and 60 days for people granted their visa after that date.
This is not an automatic cancellation and in past years the Department would sometimes wait for months before notifying a 457 holder that their visa might be cancelled. However, these days the Department move much faster on people who have gone over the 60 or 90 days without a sponsoring employer.