January 20, 2022

Australian Immigration News January 2022

Tennis & Immigration clash, more COVID-19 rule relaxations & refunds

Mark Walsh

2022 has started off with quite a kick. Let's get into the big developments in Australian immigration.

1. The Novak Djokovic Saga

The year in Australian immigration started with an explosion with the Novak Djokovic saga. The unvaccinated tennis star’s Australian visa was cancelled twice, resulting in Djokovic leaving Australia without playing a single game at the 2022 Australian Open. A complete timeline of events is summarized nicely here.

Described by many commentators as a complete debacle, the events highlighted the myriad of competing requirements for granting a visa and successful entry into Australia. So many moving parts were in play in Djokovic’s case, which warrants separate analysis in future blog posts.

Given the political sensitivity surrounding vaccination policy in Australia, the Government painted itself into a corner whereby it had no choice but to pursue the vaccine-hesitant Djokovic. Political manoeuvrings aside, a more precise application of medical exemption guidelines needs to be implemented, so that future travellers are not caught up in a similar mess.

2. Student & Working Holiday Visa Work Rights & Refunds

There has been some welcome news for students, working holiday visa holders and employers across various industries. The Department of Home Affairs announced on 19 January 2022 that:

  1. Students and Working Holiday visa holders that enter Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022 will be entitled to a refund of their visa application charges (AUD630 and AUD495, respectively). The refund includes secondary visa holders.
  2. Student Visa holder will be entitled to unrestricted work rights, effective immediately. The change will be reviewed in April 2022.
  3. The ‘6-month rule’ for Working Holiday visa holders has been waived. WHV holders can now work more than 6 months with the same employer. The waiver will last until the end of 2022.

Photo by Nathanael Desmeules on Unsplash


The information provided in this article or anywhere on this website is of a general nature, it does not relate to your specific circumstance. This general information must not be used to form any assessment or opinion on individual visa eligibility. For an individual assessment you must contact us for a consultation session to confirm if you are eligible for any visa.


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