Immigration minister Alex Hawke announced the decision in a statement on Friday, after days of deliberation about whether to eject the Serbian star from the country.
It is unclear whether Australia will move to deport Djokovic as the decision can still be challenged by his legal team.
“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,” the statement said.
“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic. The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Under current Australian laws, all international arrivals are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 — which Djokovic is not — unless they have a medical exemption.
Djokovic said he was under the impression he could enter because two independent panels associated with Tennis Australia and the Victorian state government had granted him an exemption on the grounds that he had been infected with Covid-19 in December. The federal government argued that under its rules previous infection with Covid-19 is not a valid reason for an exemption.
Despite Monday’s ruling, the immigration minister retained ministerial power to personally intervene in the case and ultimately had the final say as to whether Djokovic would be allowed to stay, though his decision can be appealed.
In his ruling, the judge noted that if Djokovic had been deported, he would have been banned from Australia for three years. However this can be waived in special circumstances.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the minister’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa protected “sacrifices” Australian had made throughout the pandemic.
In a statement, Morrison said the “pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods.”
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” he said. “This is what the minister is doing in taking this action today.”
How it came to this
Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on January 5 and promptly had his visa canceled for entering the country without a valid reason why he couldn’t be vaccinated against Covid-19.
He spent several nights in a detention hotel in Melbourne, which also houses dozens of refugees — some of whom have been held in immigration detention for more than eight years.
His lawyers challenged the decision and won the legal battle on Monday, but since then…