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Djokovic risks deportation as Australia cancels visa for second time

Djokovic risks deportation as Australia cancels visa for second time
January 14
12:26 2022

The Australian government on Friday revoked the visa of Novak Djokovic, leaving the world’s number one tennis player with the prospect of deportation a few days before the start of the Australian Open.

This is the second time in less than two weeks that the 34-year-old Serbian visa would be revoked by the Australian government.

Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open winner, has been in isolation detention since his visa was cancelled on arrival in Australia on January 5, with the border police citing irregularity with his entry visa’s eligibility for a vaccine exemption certificate.

But last Monday, an Australian federal circuit court had overturned his previous visa cancellation, with legal fees awarded against the government.

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In a new twist, Alex Hawke, Australia’s immigration minister, said Djokovic’s visa was canceled “on health and good order grounds,” and that the decision was made “in the public interest.”

“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(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,” he added.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

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“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments.”

Djokovic, the 21-time Grand Slam winner, now faces a race against time to have his visa cancellation overturned in time for the start of his Australian Open title defence next Monday.

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