Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa. The decision was announced on 14th January. Earlier on 13th January, the draw of the Australian Open was announced with the nine-time and defending champion, Djokovic being included in it.
In his statement announcing the cancellation of the Serbian’s visa, the minister said, “Today I exercised my power under Sec 133(C)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.” His statement further noted, “In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.”
Djokovic had flown in to Australia after receiving an exemption from Tennis Australia to play the first Major of the year without having gotten vaccinated. However, upon his landing in Melbourne on 5th January, he was detained in a hotel by the authorities. On 10th January, a federal circuit court announced a verdict in his favour revoked the cancellation of his visa, asking the authorities to release him from detention.
Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open title defence plans in disarray
Nonetheless, despite the favourable verdict uncertainty about Djokovic playing the Australian Open remained as the final call on the invalidation of his visa rested in the hands of Minister Hawke. At the same time, clamouring for Djokovic’s visa to be revoked continued as world no. 1 admitted that he had failed to abide by quarantine rules after getting an RT-PCR test done on 16th December.
Djokovic said that while waiting for the test results, he undertook public events on 17th December and then, despite getting to know that he’d tested positive for Covid-19, had conducted an interview with L’Equipe.
Now, following this decision by Minister Hawke and under the statutes of Sec 133(C)3, Novak Djokovic could be banned from receiving an Australian visa for the forthcoming three years. Earlier, before Minister Hawke’s decision was announced, Djokovic’s lawyers had said that they would legally contest any unfavourable decision that came about.