2021 has brought with it key changes in immigration law which took effect on New Years' Day,
including the addition of new categories of visas that can be cancelled – even during immigration clearance – for a range of breaches of biosecurity controls.

From 1 January 2021, more temporary visa holders face the risk of visa cancellation if they breach certain sections of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth). The prescribed biosecurity contraventions include: failure to answer questions asked by a biosecurity officer and knowingly provide false or misleading information to a biosecurity officer. The visa can be cancelled while the holder is still in immigration clearance.

As a result of the legislative change, the Department of Home Affairs will have the power to cancel following temporary visas on biosecurity grounds:

(i) a Subclass 400 (Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist)) visa;
(ii) a Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations)) visa;
(iii) a Subclass 407 (Training) visa;
(iv) a Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) visa;
(v) a Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa;
(vi) a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa;
(vii) a Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa;
(viii) a Subclass 476 (Skilled—Recognised Graduate) visa;
(ix) a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa;
(x) a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa;
(xi) a Subclass 500 (Student) visa;
(xii) a Subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa;
(xiii) a Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa;
(xiv) a Subclass 601 (Electronic Travel Authority) visa;
(xv) a Subclass 651 (eVisitor) visa;
(xvi) a Subclass 676 (Tourist) visa;
(xvii) a Subclass 771 (Transit) visa; and
(xviii) a Subclass 988 (Maritime Crew) visa.

Visa holders should be aware that visa cancellation brings very serious consequences, in particular a three-year ban from applying for most types of temporary visas.

For more detail about this topic, please refer to our earlier article here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.