A decision on whether Novak Djokovic will be able to stay in the country to play in the Australian Open is still pending almost 24 hours after his first visa cancellation was overturned.
A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke confirmed the minister was still considering whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa just after 3.30pm today.
“In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter,” the spokesperson said.
Djokovic’s lawyer Nick Wood told the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia on Thursday that Tennis Australia would need to know by today whether Djokovic would be participating in the tournament.
After Djokovic shared on social media last night that he remained focused on competing in the tournament, he was seen practising at Rod Laver Arena this afternoon.
He also trained at the court last night after he was released from immigration detention.
After his initial visa cancellation was quashed in court yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson for Mr Hawke last night said the minister was still considering whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time.
“It remains within Immigration Minister Hawke’s discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within section 133C(3) of the Migration Act,” the spokesperson said.
“The Minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing.”
The announcement followed the publication of the court documents for Djokovic’s appeal, which reveal that on Djokovic’s Australian Travel Declaration he stated he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his January 6 arrival in Australia.
But social media posts indicate Djokovic had travelled between Belgrade and Spain in that time.
The declaration form warns, “giving false or misleading information is a serious offence”.
Djokovic returned to training last night after he was officially released from immigration detention, with the tournament set to begin in just days.
He shared a photo from the Australian Open courts to Twitter and Instagram, stating, “I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation.”
“Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans,” he wrote.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić this morning regarding Djokovic’s situation during a “constructive call”.
Mr Morrison explained Australia’s non-discriminatory border policy and its role in protecting Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, his office said.
According to the Australian government, both prime ministers agreed to stay in contact on the issue and agreed to further strengthen the countries’ relationship.
The conversation occurred after Djokovic supporters in Serbia, as well as in Melbourne, protested the way Djokovic has been treated since he arrived in Australia last Wednesday.
Several hundred people gathered outside Serbian parliament in a show of support Djokovic during his appeal hearing.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this morning refused to comment on whether Djokovic should be allowed to play in the Australian Open.
“The issue of who gets into the country and their vaccination status is not an issue for state governments,” he said.
“I don’t issue visas, the Commonwealth government does that. There’s a court ruling, whether that’s appealed is a matter for the Commonwealth government.
“If the Immigration Minister wants to use his extraordinary powers, that’s a matter for him.”
Mr Andrews said he would not be calling for Mr Hawke to make any particular decision to cancel the tennis star’s visa.