Australia Visas: Character Requirements

By: Haines | Posted: 08th April 2010

Anyone who plans to acquire an Australian visa to enter the country must be assessed against character requirements. This is true for entry visas such as those for visitors, business people or students as well as for immigration to Australia visas such as sponsored, skilled, parent or partner visas.

Often, a police clearance is used by the Australian government to determine if you are of good character. If you are applying for immigration to Australia on a temporary or permanent basis, you may be asked to provide police certificates for each country that you have lived in for a full year or more. This spans the last 10 year since you turned 16.

If you are onshore (within Australia), you may be asked to provide this along with your application. However, if you are offshore, you can wait until after you file your application and are informed of its need.

The character requirement is in line with Section 501 of the Migration Act of 1958. The section contains a character test to ensure that applicants for an Australian Visa are of acceptable character.

This test includes checking if the Australian visa applicant:

1. has a substantial criminal record
2. has or has had an association with an individual, group or organisation suspected of having been or being involved in criminal conduct
3. is of good character based on past or present criminal conduct
4. is of good character based on past and present general conduct
5. shows that he or she has no significant risk of engaging in criminal conduct in Asutralia. Potential criminal conduct to watch out for includes harassing, molesting, intimidating or stalking a person in Australia, vilifying a segment of the community or inciting discord in an community or a segment of one or representing a danger to the Australian community.

Your police record must not show a substantial record which includeds being sentenced to death or life imprisonment, a term of imprisonment for 12 months or more or two terms of imprisonment totaling 2 years or more. Additionally, you must also not have been acquitted of an offence on the grounds of either unsoundness of mind or insanity.

The character requirement may make it seem difficult to get an Australian visa, but it helps ensure a safer environment for everyone.

National Visas is a world leader in Australian immigration services. It is a privately held company that provides assistance and advice to people who want to travel or migrate to Australia.

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