Most of the Australian visas have an eligibility criteria that the applicant must meet the character requirements. If you do not meet these requirements, the Department may refuse your application or subsequently cancel your visa if you do not remain of good character.
Section 501(6) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) outlines the character requirements. Accordingly, the Department may refuse to grant your visa if you do not pass the character test, determined by the following:
- Having a substantial criminal record
- Having been convicted of escaping from immigration detention, or convicted for an offense that you committed in that regard
- Being or having been a member of a group or organization, or been associated with such groups that are reasonably suspects of being involved in criminal conduct
- Having been involved in people smuggling, people trafficking, genocide, a war crime, a crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime of serious international concern, where reasonable suspected
- Having criminal or general conduct showing that you are not of good character
There is a risk that you would:
- engage in criminal conduct
- harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person
- vilify a segment of the Australian community
- incite discord in the Australian community
- be a danger to the Australian community,
While you are in Australia
- Having been convicted, found guilty or had a charge proven for, one or more sexually based offenses involving a child
- Being subject to adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization
- Being subject to an Interpol notice, where it is reasonable suspected that you are a risk to the Australian community
- Being or having been convicted of a domestic violence offense.
While lodging your visa application, you must answer all the questions correctly and declare all your criminal conduct, if any. The Department considers all circumstances of a case to decide whether the visa is to be granted, even if you do not meet the character requirements, including:
- Protection of the Australian community
- Best interests of children
- Australia’s International legal commitments
- Impact of visa refusal or visa cancellation on your family
- Impact on Australian businesses and the Australian community
If you do not declare your criminal history completely and correctly, the Department may refuse your visa application. The graph below shows number of visa refusals and visa cancellations by the Department from 2012 to 2019.
*Source: Department of Home Affairs
In certain cases, you may appeal the decision of visa cancellation or refusal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for failing to meet character requirements. If you are facing any such difficulty or need migration assistance, Contact Us or call us on (02) 4626 100 to speak to one of our Registered Migration Agents in Sydney to discuss your situation.