Djokovic faces deportation after visa decision

BBC – Australia’s government says it has revoked the visa of tennis star Novak Djokovic on “health and good order grounds”.

The world’s number one men’s tennis player faces deportation and a three-year ban on obtaining a new visa.

He is likely to launch a legal challenge so he can stay and play the Australian Open.

The Serb had his visa first revoked on 6 January shortly after arriving in Melbourne amid questions over a vaccine exemption he’d received.

He spent five days in detention until a judge dramatically ruled border officials ignored correct procedure when he arrived.

But Australia’s immigration minister still had the power to re-cancel the visa.

The Australian Open begins on 17 January – winning it would make Djokovic the most successful men’s player in history.

Former Australian Immigration Department deputy secretary Abul Rizvi has told the BBC what will likely happen next to Djokovic:

“Upon his visa being cancelled, Mr Djokovic must be taken into detention.

His lawyers are likely to seek judicial review and an interim order for him to be released on a bridging visa with work rights.

The former would take time to be decided. The court would need to decide the latter over the weekend to enable him to play in Aussie Open.

There is a strong chance the court would agree to releasing Mr Djokovic from detention.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has weighed in on the latest turn of events, saying that he had made “note” of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision.

“I understand that following careful consideration, action has been taken to cancel Djokovic’s visa on health and good order grounds,” he said.

“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the results of those sacrifices to be protected. That is what the minister is doing in taking this action today.”