Cancelling a visa or renouncing Australian citizenship

Visa cancellation

The Minister or the delegate of the Minister has the authority to grant, refuse or cancel a visa. Cancelling a visa is at the discretion of the Department. In cases of mandatory cancellation, the Department has a discretion to revoke the cancellation. In some cases, you may be able to ask the Department to cancel the visa. One of the benefits of cancelling your own visa is to prevent breaching visa conditions. If your visa is cancelled you may be prevented from making further visa applications.

Some reasons why the Department may cancel your visa include:

  • Failure to comply with visa conditions
  • Failure to pass the character test
  • Provide misleading and false information on your visa application
  • Paying for your visa sponsorship
  • No longer enrolled in a registered course

Therefore, to prevent a breach of visa condition or cancellation, it is better in some circumstances to cancel the visa on your own. For example, if you hold a student visa but you no longer wish to continue studying, it may be better to cancel the visa on your own. Another example is you have applied for another visa, or are returning abroad after working in Australia to obtain your superannuation.

Renouncing Australian citizenship

Sometimes, it is necessary for Australian citizens to renounce their citizenship formally. Usually, for dual citizens, it may be a requirement of the other country that they can only have one nationality.

The criteria for renouncing your Australian citizenship are:

  • Over 18 years old and a citizen of another country or,
  • Born or ordinarily resident in a foreign country where you cannot become a citizen while you are an Australian citizen.

Therefore, unless if you already have another country’s citizenship or will immediately have it after your application, the Department will not approve your revocation application.

In some circumstances, children under 16 can apply to renounce their citizenship if a parent makes the application on their behalf.  The Department has discretion in this regard. If it’s not in the best interests of Australia, the Department may not allow the revocation.

Once you have renounced your citizenship, you would need to apply for a visa when you want to return to Australia. In certain circumstances you may also apply for your citizenship to be reinstated.

Travelling before your citizenship ceremony

If you travel outside Australia before your ceremony, it will be as a permanent resident. You can only use the passport of the country of which you are currently a citizen. The travel facility on your permanent visa must be valid, in order for you to return to Australia as a permanent resident.

If you give up Australian citizenship while overseas, you might need a Resident return visa to re-enter Australia.


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