ustralia has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time in a row over his desire to stay in the country despite being unvaccinated.
The decision, by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, means Djokovic now faces being deported unless he launches another legal challenge to remain in the country.
Mr Hawke said, on Friday, he used his ministerial discretion to revoke the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public interest grounds three days before the Australian Open is to begin.
Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the cancellation in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.
The world number one’s visa was first revoked shortly after his arrival in Melbourne on January 6, after Australian border Force officials said he had “failed to provide appropriate evidence” to receive a vaccine exemption.
There was also enormous backlash from the Australian public, who have lived under some of the world’s strictest Covid restrictions.
Djokovic was detained and spent hours at immigration control and then days at an immigration hotel, while supporters loudly protested outside.
Judge Kelly noted Djokovic had provided officials at Melbourne’s airport with a medical exemption given him by Tennis Australia, which is organising the tournament that starts on January 17, and two medical panels.
“The point I’m somewhat agitated about is what more could this man have done?” Kelly asked Djokovic’s lawyer, Nick Wood during the hearing.
However, Mr Hawke cancelled Djokovic’s visa under separate powers in Australia’s Migration Act.
The act allows him to deport anyone he deems a potential risk to “the health, safety or good order of the Australian community”, however Djokovic can still appeal this.
He admitted attending a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot despite knowing he had Covid. In a lengthy statement on Instagram he also said he handed out awards at a children’s tennis event the day after being tested for Covid.
Djokovic’s statement also addressed the widely reported discrepancy in his travel declaration, published by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia earlier this week.
On the form, Djokovic said he had not travelled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia. But the Monte Carlo-based athlete was seen in Spain and Serbia in that two-week period.
He attributed it to “human error” on behalf of his agent.