World Tennis number one, Novak Djokovic has been ordered to leave Australia
as his visa has been canceled for the second time.
Alex Hawke, immigration minister, who announced his decision at about 6 p.m. local
time, said the Australian government “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the
visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it
was in the public interest to do so,” Hawke said in a statement.
Hawke’s decision arrived days after an Australian court reinstated the 34-year-old’s
visa, which had been granted with a medical exemption to Australia’s COVID-19
Officials questioned whether Djokovic meet the requirements for that exemption, but
Judge Anthony Kelly sided with the tennis star, noting that Djokovic’s medical
exemption had been provided with input from an “eminently qualified physician.”
“And the point I’m somewhat agitated about is, ‘What more could this man have
done?'” the judge said on Monday.
Questions had still lingered, however, about whether Djokovic lied on his Travel
Declaration Form. Every traveler arriving in Australia needs to submit the document
before entering the country.
At issue were the few weeks prior to Djokovic’s landing in Australia on Jan. 5 from
Spain via Dubai. Under Australia’s pandemic measures, the tennis star would have
had to stay in Spain for at least 14 days before traveling.
Djokovic on his entry form ticked the box saying he hadn’t traveled during that
period. Social media seemed to tell a different story, with at least one post suggesting
Djokovic had been in Serbia during those 14 days.
Hawke on Wednesday told ABC News: “Mr. Djokovic’s lawyers have recently provided
lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation said to be relevant to the
possible cancellation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa. Naturally, this will affect the timeframe
for a decision.”
The Australian Open begins on Jan. 17. Djokovic has won the tournament the last
three years and nine times overall.