SPORT: After the cancellation of his passport, Novak Djokovic risks being banned from Australia for 3 years.


The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment decid­ed to can­cel Novak Djokovic’s visa because it was “in the pub­lic inter­est to do so”.
Novak Djokovic’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2022 Aus­tralian Open is in doubt, to put it mild­ly, fol­low­ing Fed­er­al Immi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Alex Hawke’s deci­sion to can­cel his visa.

While Djokovic is expect­ed to appeal the deci­sion and could tech­ni­cal­ly still end up play­ing, that’s a slim chance at best.

Mr Hawke used his pow­ers under Sec­tion 133C (3) of the Migra­tion Act to revoke the world’s num­ber one visa, cit­ing “health” and “good order” grounds.

After an unfa­vor­able deci­sion under this part of the Migra­tion Law, the per­son con­cerned can­not obtain a visa while abroad for a peri­od of three years.

So if Mr Hawke’s deci­sion stands up to judi­cial review, Djokovic could also be banned from play­ing at the 2023 and 2024 Aus­tralian Open.

Fear not, Djok­er fans, because there is room for an excep­tion to be made for him.

The three-year ban may be lift­ed in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, includ­ing com­pelling cir­cum­stances that affect Aus­trali­a’s inter­ests, or human­i­tar­i­an cir­cum­stances that affect the inter­ests of an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen or per­ma­nent resident.

Obvi­ous­ly, Djokovic is not an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen or res­i­dent. So next year, or 2023, he would like­ly peti­tion the gov­ern­ment argu­ing that his pres­ence at the Aus­tralian Open would help the nation­al interest.

“Djokovic can turn to the gov­ern­ment to ask for the ban to be lift­ed for com­pelling and human­i­tar­i­an rea­sons. I imag­ine if he wants to play at the Aus­tralian Open next year, he can apply, ”for­mer deputy sec­re­tary of the Immi­gra­tion Depart­ment Abul Rizvi told The Project on Fri­day evening.

“I sus­pect the min­is­ter would prob­a­bly allow it. ”

Mr Rizvi also spoke at length about the like­ly next moves of Djokovic’s legal team.

“They’ll be look­ing for two things, I think,” he said.

“One, to argue the ques­tion on legal grounds. Sec­ond, ask the judge for per­mis­sion to release Mr. Djokovic on a tran­si­tion­al visa to allow him to par­tic­i­pate in the Aus­tralian Open.

“It’s a deci­sion the judge is expect­ed to make over the weekend.”

There is, how­ev­er, an addi­tion­al com­pli­cat­ing fac­tor. Such a tran­si­tion visa would gen­er­al­ly not allow the ben­e­fi­cia­ry to work.

“Play­ing ten­nis, some peo­ple may not think of it as work, but it is Mr. Djokovic’s job,” Mr. Rizvi said.

“(The judge) should also con­sid­er these issues, if he obtains work rights with the tran­si­tion­al visa. This is a ques­tion the judge will consider.

“If he thinks Mr. Djokovic’s argu­ment is valid, it makes sense to release him on a tran­si­tion­al visa while the appeal is considered.”

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son, in a state­ment after Mr Hawke’s deci­sion was announced, stressed that the Covid pan­dem­ic had been “incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult” for every Aus­tralian but peo­ple stood together.

“Aus­tralians have made many sac­ri­fices dur­ing this pan­dem­ic, and they right­ly expect the out­come of those sac­ri­fices to be pro­tect­ed. This is what the Min­is­ter is doing by tak­ing this step today, ”said Mr. Morrison

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