Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa revoked again

Melbourne Australia –

Tennis star Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for the second time.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawk said Friday he used his ministerial discretion to revoke the visa of the 34-year-old Serb on public interest grounds three days before the Australian Open kicks off.

Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the annulment in the Federal Circuit and Family Court as they successfully did after the first annulment.

Hook said he canceled the visa “for reasons of health and order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest.”

“The Morrison government is deeply committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hawke said in a statement, referring to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

It is the second time that Djokovic’s visa has been revoked since he arrived in Melbourne last week to defend the Australian Open title.

His exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for the competition has been approved by the state government of Victoria and Tennis Australia, the tournament organiser. Apparently this allowed him to get a visa to travel.

But the Australian Border Force refused the exemption and canceled his visa upon arrival in Melbourne. Djokovic spent four nights in an immigration detention hotel before a judge on Monday overturned that decision.

Kian Boone, a Melbourne-based immigration attorney, said Djokovic’s lawyers face a “very difficult” task to obtain court orders over the weekend to allow their client to play next week.

“For Djokovic to get the results he needs it will be very difficult to get it over the weekend,” Boone said.

Boone said Hook’s delay in reaching a decision came close to punishment.

“If I leave him any later than he’s doing now, I think from a strategic point of view he (Hawk) is confusing Djokovic’s legal team, as to what kind of options or treatments he could have,” Boone said hours before the decision was made. announced.

Lawyers will need to appear before the alternate judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court or a senior judge of the Federal Court to obtain two urgent orders.

One of the orders will be an injunction preventing his deportation, like the one he received last week. The second orders Hook to give Djokovic a visa to play.

“This second order is unprecedented,” Boone said. “Courts rarely order a member of the executive government to grant a visa.”

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McGurk reported from Canberra, Australia.

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