Can You Get A Visa For Australia With A Criminal Record

Are you wondering if you can get a visa for Australia with a criminal record? There are some ways that you can, but it first has to be determined whether or not you are eligible. If your convictions were more than 10 years ago then you generally should not have too many problems.

In 2005, immigration policies in Australia were revised and later updated in 2008. A good number of these immigration policies are based on the idea that any person who is not a resident of Australia or an authorized migrant holding an appropriate visa should not be permitted to enter the country as a matter of national security. It means if you have committed a crime and are not allowed entry into Australia, you are considered to be a threat to public safety and will face prosecution as soon as you set foot in the country.

Can You Get A Visa For Australia With A Criminal Record

The last thing you want to find yourself thinking is – I’m about to fly half way across the world, but can I make it? There are a few questions we need to answer before we can say with confidence whether you will be able to enter the country.

Can I travel to Australia with a criminal record?

Yes, it is possible to travel to Australia with a criminal record. However, you need to apply for a visa and provide additional documents.

This article provides all the information you need to know about travelling to Australia with a criminal record.

Can I apply for an Australian visa with a criminal record?

Yes, travellers with a criminal record may apply for the Australian ETA or an eVisitor Visa.

A person convicted of a minor offence, who has not been sentenced to prison can complete the ETA or eVisitor application form.

A traveller with a substantial criminal record, may not apply for the ETA for Australia or the eVisitor visa.

Those who are eligible to apply for the Australian electronic permit must answer the application truthfully.

If a person has had a conviction, by answering yes to any of the security questions, they will automatically not be able to continue with the ETA or eVisitor application process.

What is a substantial criminal record?

For the purpose of the character test for the Australian visa application, a substantial criminal record means if they have been sentenced to a total of 12 months or more in prison.

Why can I not apply for an Australian visa with a substantial criminal record?

The Australian ETA or eVisitor application has two sections that involve criminal conviction questions: the character detail questions and the declaration section.

Applicants must answer all questions accurately and with absolute honesty. Therefore, if a traveller has been charged with an offence and is awaiting legal action, they are likely to get their ETA or eVisitor denied.

Character detail questions on the visa application

On the application form, a traveller must answer yes or no to the following questions:

  • Have you ever been charged with any offence that is currently awaiting legal action? If yes, please provide details of each charge.
  • Have you ever been convicted of an offence in any country (including any conviction which is now removed from official records)?

If yes, please provide details of each offence and the penalties imposed.

An applicant with a serious criminal conviction will fail the character details section of the application.

Through a visa application, travellers will have to provide further information so that Australian authorities can verify their character.

Declaration on the Australian visa application

When completing the online application for the Electronic Travel Authority for Australia, applicants must declare the following:

  • I don’t have any criminal of 12 months jail time (served or not served).
  • I have never been charged or convicted of a family or domestic violence offence or any similar related offence.
  • I have never been the subject of a domestic or family violence order, or any other order, of a tribunal or court or other similar authority, for the personal protection of another person.

If an applicant cannot declare the statements above, they are also not eligible for the ETA or eVisitor visa.

However, this does not mean that they cannot get a visa to Australia. Having a serious criminal conviction only means that the traveller is not eligible to apply for the Australian ETA or eVisitor visa. 

Applying for an Australian visa with a criminal conviction

It is possible to get an Australian visa with a criminal conviction. Australia offers a variety of visas depending on the needs of the traveller.

However, when applying for most Australian visas, applicants must declare all criminal convictions. Secondly, foreigners who apply for any Australian visa must meet:

  • Health requirements
  • Character requirements

Australia does not grant a visa to individuals if there’s a risk that they might:

  • Engage in criminal conduct
  • Harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person
  • Be a danger to the Australian community
  • Incite discord in the Australian community
  • Vilify a segment of the Australian community

What is considered a criminal conviction when applying for an Australian visa?

A person who has been found guilty of a crime in a court of law is considered to have a criminal conviction.

Australian immigration authorities take such criminal convictions into account when processing visa applications.

What criminal convictions should I declare?

Any criminal conviction, no matter how insignificant, must be declared when applying for an Australian visa.

It does not matter how long ago the conviction was or how minor—: Australian visa applicants must declare all criminal convictions.

If a person fails to declare a criminal conviction, entry to Australia may be denied.

Will a criminal record prevent me from travelling to Australia?

A criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot travel to Australia. Nevertheless, whether you can enter the country or not will depend on Australian immigration authorities.

A person with a substantial criminal record may have issues obtaining a visa to enter Australia.

Offences that happened over 10 years ago with a 12-month (or more) custodial sentence do not appear on local police searches. However, they are relevant on Australian visa applications.

Australian authorities will look at various factors when processing an application.

Are traffic offences criminal convictions?

Yes, a traffic offence is a criminal conviction. However, if a traveller’s only conviction is a traffic offence, they will likely obtain a visa to visit Australia.

Character requirements on the Australian visa application

When applying for an Australian visa, an essential aspect is meeting Australia’s character requirements.

Applicants must be of good character to visit or live in Australia.

A traveller may not pass the character requirements in some circumstances. These include if:

  • They have a substantial criminal record
  • They have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention
  • They are or have been a member of an organisation that the Minister suspects of being involved in criminal conduct
  • The Minister suspects the applicant to be involved in smuggling, people trafficking, genocide, a war crime, a crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime of international concern, whether they have been convicted or not.
  • The applicant’s past and present criminal or general conduct shows they are not of good character.
  • They have been convicted, found guilty, or had a charge proven for one or more sexually based offences involving a child.
  • They are subject to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
  • They are subject to an Interpol notice, from which it is reasonable to assume that they are a direct or indirect risk to the Australian public.
  • They are or have been convicted of domestic violence.

After applying for an Australian visa, the applicant may be asked to provide the following:

  1. A police certificate
  2. A completed Form 80 Personal particulars for character assessment
  3. A statutory character declaration
  4. A military certificate
  5. A letter of good conduct from an employer

Australian authorities evaluate applications on a case-by-case basis. The documents they request will depend on the applicant’s specific circumstances.

Requirements for an Australian visa with a criminal record

As mentioned above, travellers have to demonstrate they meet the country’s health and character requirements to be granted a short or long-term Australian visa.

Depending on the reasons for visiting Australia, requirements will vary. For instance, if applying to work in the country, the applicant will need to provide a job offer or letter from the employer.

Australia has dozens of visa types, which are divided into several categories:

  • Visitor visas
  • Studying and training visas
  • Family and partnership visas
  • Working and skilled visas
  • Refugee and humanitarian visas
  • Repealed visas

Therefore, for travellers wishing to apply for an Australian visa with a criminal record, it is best to contact an Australian Embassy or Consulate for further assistance.

Leave a Comment