Australian Visa Character Test – Criminal Record
Non-Australian Citizens wishing to travel to Australia are required to meet a character test. The character test applies to those who enter and remain in Australia whether for holiday, work or settlement.
Under the Australian Migration Act, s501, a person’s Visa can be refused or cancelled if the Immigration officer deems the person not to have passed the test.
When a person may be found to have not passed the character test:
- the person has a substantial criminal record
- the person has an association with a person or group suspected of being involved in criminal conduct
- the person is not of good character, having regard to the person’s past and present criminal and/or general conduct and
- there is a significant risk that the person would engage in the following types of conduct in the future, if allowed into Australia:
– criminal conduct
– harassing, molesting, intimidating or stalking another person in Australia
– vilifying a segment of the Australian community
– inciting discord in the Australian community, or a segment of that community or
– represent a danger to the Australian community, or a segment of that community.
What is a substantial criminal record:
- the person has been sentenced to death; or
- the person has been sentenced to imprisonment for life; or
- the person has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more; or
- the person has been sentenced to 2 or more terms of imprisonment where the total of those terms is 12 months; or
- the person has been acquitted of an offence on the grounds of unsoundness of mind or insanity, and the person has been detained in a facility or institution; or
- the person has been found by a court to not be fit to plead, in relation to an offence; and the person has been detained in a facility or institution.
Visa applicants are advised to declare any offences on their Visa application. These may include juvenile offences or those removed from the official records. This is becuase police checks for Immigration purposes are detailed and may reveal past police troubles. Not declaring offences on the Visa form will not help your application.
The Australian Immigration Office may request a police record certificate from the relevant country where the applicant has lived for at least 12 months in the past 10 years. A police record certificate is valid for 12 months only.
Have a question about your criminal record and how it might affect your Visa application? Speak to our specialists today. Call on 0207 427 5290 or email us [email protected]