Character Test for Australian Visa To Get Tougher
Indroduction of “Designated Offences”
On the 25th October 2018, a new Bill, Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2018, was introduced in the Australian Parliament. The Bill, if passed will expand the character test by introducing a new range of “designated offences”. Under the new rules, a person (that is an Australian Visa applicant or an Australian Visa holder) who has been convicted of a Designated offence will automatically fail the character test, whether or not they have been sentenced for the offence. The designated offences would include acts of violence, sexual violence (including acts of indecency), breaching an order made by a court or tribunal and using or possessing a weapon; aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or inducing the commission of those offences; being directly or indirectly concerned in, or a party to, or conspire with others to commit, those offences. A distinction is to be made between an offence against a law in force in Australia and in a foreign country.
The Bill, if passed will apply retrospectively to all Visa applications that are already lodged but not finalised and all applications lodged on or after the commencement date.