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Novak Djokovic out of Australian Open after second visa cancellation

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic visa remains cancelled. Photo/Tennis Australia Open

World No.1 Novak Djokovic is in for a rude shock following the cancellation of his Australian visa meaning he is out of the Australian Open 2022.

Novak Djokovic’s visa to enter Australia has been revoked yet again, just days before the start of the Australian Open tournament.

Australia’s Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke on Friday used his personal authority to cancel Djokovic’s visa. The Serbian could end up being deported following the visa cancellation besides denying him a chance to defend his Australian Open Grand Slam title.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is focused in playing at the Australian Open. Photo/Djokovic

This means that Djokovic might be effectively prevented from re-entering Australia for three years. Of course,  unless, in future bids, he can demonstrate to the Australian government that compelling circumstances exist, such as humanitarian or national interest reasons.

In a statement, Hawke stated that he had cancelled the visa on the basis of health and public safety considerations, [as well as] the belief that it was in the public interest to do so.

Hawke dismissed the Australian government’s loss in court on Monday, stating that Djokovic’s visa was reinstated only on the basis of “procedural fairness issues.”

The Immigration Minister indicated that he keenly evaluated the evidence presented by Djokovic, the Australian Border Force, and his department.

He restated Australian Prime Minister Scot Morrison commitment to protecting Australia’s borders in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision follows statements made by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, on Thursday.

He stated that he expects authorities to apply government rules requiring non-citizens to be doubly vaccinated or to have a medical exemption that meets government standards.

What Happened to Djokovic

Djokovic landed in Australia on the evening of January 5, according to his schedule. He believed that a visa granted on November 18, as well as an exemption recognized by Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer and an independent expert panel appointed by the Victorian government, would be sufficient to allow him to enter Australia.

A delegate of the Home Affairs Minister initially cancelled Djokovic’s visa last week after questioning him at the Melbourne Airport in the wee hours of the morning.

The delegate reasoned that a recent COVID-19 infection alone did not qualify him for an exemption from Australia’s strict vaccination requirements.

The delegation came to the conclusion that Djokovic represented a threat to public health since he was not vaccinated.

Secondly, Djokovic was denied entry into Australia after a visa application mix-up last week. Border officials informed him that his visa went contrary to the entry rules warranting deportation.

However, his legal team moved to court last week and Judge Antony Keller reinstated his visa and freed him from detention on Monday.

Judge Kelly stated Djokovic should have been given extra time if officials had kept to the original time frame for Djokovic’s visa application submission.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic won against the Australian government. Photo/Forbes

The Judge insisted that they all play by the same rules. Djokovic’s attorneys in defence, claimed that the 20-time Grand Slam champion entered the country with the idea that his exemption from restrictions necessitating full vaccination against Covid-19 was legal.

Following Monday’s ruling, Djokovic said his intent was to defend his title at the Australian Open.

“I am pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened in the past week, I want to stay and to try to compete at the Australian Open,” he told his supporters.

“I remain focused on that.  I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans.  For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong.”

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