Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday cancelled Djokovic’s visa for a second time, arguing that the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player posed a risk to Australia as he was unvaccinated for Covid-19.
The move came after an Australian court ruled on Monday that Djokovic’s visa was improperly cancelled by border authorities and he should be allowed to enter the country immediately. The tennis star had spent four days in Australian immigration detention fighting the case.
Australia’s immigration minister said on Friday that he exercised his power under the Migration Act to cancel Djokovic’s visa “on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”.
The government “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement.
Hawke said that his decision came after having “carefully considered” information from Djokovic, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Australian Border Force.
According to the Migration Act clause used to cancel the visa, Djokovic will not be able to secure a visa to enter Australia for the next three years, except in compelling circumstances that affect Australia’s interest, Al Jazeera reported.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed Djokovic’s pending deportation and commended his immigration minister’s decision.
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” he said in a statement. “This is what the minister is doing in taking this action today.”
Published : January 14, 2022