Novak Djokovic: From Immigration Application to Deportation banner


Novak Djokovic: From Immigration Application to Deportation

  • Posted on

Today London immigration lawyers turned their attention away from UK immigration law to look at the furore over Novak Djokovic. He was refused entry clearance in Australia after he entered the country on a work visa, with the tennis star being transferred to a hotel to await a deportation decision. The moral of the tale, whatever the outcome, is that entry clearance refusal and deportation can happen to anyone, whether you are a tennis star, business person or tourist. In this blog we look at entry clearance, deportation and judicial review from a UK immigration solicitors perspective.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Deportation Lawyers

Refused entry clearance? Threatened with deportation? For advice on your immigration law rights call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

The sports star to detainee

From what you have read in the newspapers you may be rather confused as to how a tennis champion like Novak Djokovic could get a medical exemption certificate from a sporting body and then be refused entry clearance because he allegedly did not comply with Australian immigration rules. The answer may lie in the type of visa applied for as it is being said that Novak Djokovic’s team applied for a work visa for him (and tennis is work for a champion) but the immigration rules for that particular work visa do not provide for entry clearance with a medical exemption to avoid Australian quarantine rules.

If that is the case, then immigration solicitors see this type of problem in the UK, often because someone assumes that they don’t need specialist immigration legal advice as they have applied for a UK visa in the past and did not have an entry clearance problem. Take the business person with their suit and briefcase, not anticipating UK border officials will refuse them entry as they have their business visitor visa. What could go wrong ? A lot in the experience of expert immigration lawyers. If the business visitor is asked about the nature of their business activities in the UK and their list falls outside the permissible business activities contained in the visitor visa immigration rules then the visitor may be refused UK entry clearance. That isn’t to say that the business person is not eligible to come to the UK for business purposes but potentially they needed a different type of work visa, such as the sole representative visa or skilled worker visa or intra company transfer visa. Business visitors are not permitted to take employment in the UK and this includes things like carrying out their day-to-day role for their employment overseas or providing short term cover for a role in the UK. They are, however, able to undertake certain permitted activities. These include  attending pre-arranged business meetings and site visits, or being briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK.

Immigration solicitors say that visa applications are a bit like tax returns. You should check and then double check that you have got the right visa and the best supporting paperwork you need. It also helps to keep the phone number of your immigration lawyer handy.

From airport to immigration hotel

If you read the newspapers or watch the news then you can't fail to see pictures of the ’immigration hotel’ where Novak Djokovic has been taken whilst his immigration solicitors work frantically to straighten out his visa issues and avoid his deportation. It is said that the immigration row will be resolved on Monday with the court deciding if the tennis star can stay or must go. In the UK, our equivalent type of hearing is a judicial review application and injunction.

In the Novak Djokovic situation, speed is of the essence as like most elite sportspeople match fitness can only be maintained by rigorous daily exercise schedules and a strict diet regime. In the UK, immigration solicitors can move just as swiftly where necessary with an urgent judicial review and injunction application against a Home Office decision to refuse entry clearance or remove. There is a distinction in terminology under UK immigration law, criminals are deported where else those who breach immigration rules can be administratively removed.

In the UK, entry clearance can be refused by UK border officials even where a visa has been granted by the Home Office in situations where:

  • The person seeking entry does not hold the right entry clearance.
  • Failure to produce a recognised passport or travel document (unless exceptions apply, for example in cases of statelessness).
  • Medical grounds where the medical inspector concludes that for medical reasons it is undesirable to grant entry unless there are strong compassionate reasons justifying entry clearance.
  • Consent for a child to travel grounds where a child is not travelling with their parent or legal guardian and, if required to do so, the child’s parent or legal guardian has not provided written consent to the child entering the UK.
  • There has been a breach of customs rules.
  • The person is a returning resident and they don’t satisfy the UK immigration rules.
  • Change of circumstances or purpose of UK visit since entry clearance was granted. For example, a visitor visawas granted but the person now wants to work in the UK outside of permissible business activities.

One thing is certain in the escalating diplomatic row between Australia and Serbia and between state and federal Australian laws and the ongoing vaccination debate, the immigration tribunal on Monday will not be side tracked but instead will focus on the complex immigration rules to determine if border officials were right to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa on arrival in the country and then insist on immigration quarantine (that some would see as immigration detention) and whether the work visa is fit for purpose. The furore will certainly make many people call their immigration solicitors before setting foot on the plane just to double check that all is in order and that threats of deportation and judicial review don’t await them at the airport terminal.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Deportation Lawyers

For advice on any aspect of immigration law call the immigration team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

    Get in touch

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.