Most visa applications to enter or remain in Australia contain a good character requirement. If you have had a past criminal record (including a charge, spent convictions etc.) there is a chance that you may not meet the character requirement to enter Australia. 

Being able to enter, reside and live in Australia is a privilege. The Australian government will only grant a visa to those who are of good character and do not pose any threat or danger to the Australian community. 

You may not pass the character requirement if you:

  • Have a substantial criminal record 
  • Are reasonably suspected to be associated with a person, group or organisation involved in criminal conduct
  • Escaped from immigration detention 
  • Convicted or found guilty of one or more sexually based offences involving a child 
  • Have been convicted of a domestic violence offence or have been subject to a domestic violence order. 

Most people have a misconception that you can pass the character test as long as you have not been sentenced to imprisonment for more than 12 months however this is not true. That is only one element of the character requirement. Even a long-standing history of criminal record (not resulting in imprisonment) or a bad history of general conduct can lead an applicant to be refused a visa on the basis that they do not meet the character requirements. 

Even after your visa is cancelled, you are still subject to the good character provisions. That is, if you commit a crime in Australia or otherwise engage in bad criminal or general conduct then your visa may still be cancelled.

Since 2018, The Australian Government has been tightening the character test making it more difficult to pass especially for those being involved in violent or serious offences. You can read more about the character test here: Strengthening the Character Test 2021

If you are unsure whether you qualify, you should book in a consultation with us to discover more. 

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