What Is a Substantial Criminal Record?
Applying for a visa (even if it’s a working holiday visa) is definitely stressful and time consuming as you are required to gather all kinds of papers and proofs that you are a normal person with good intentions.
Sometimes you just need luck. We have all heard those stories where someone’s application was absolutely perfect and he or she was denied. Another one was quite negligent and still got the visa. Whatever the case, you don’t want to risk and take chances, so you better do as instructed. What’s more, don’t lie when filling out the papers. In an attempt to process everything faster, people sometimes omit important information regarding a criminal record from the past, thinking it wasn’t significant and it would take forever to gather additional information to describe the case. These people often end up with a denied visa to Australia and a ruined holiday they have dreamed of. Whether the criminal record was or was not significant, whether it was years ago, let the authorities decide. They appreciate the honesty, and even if they ask for additional documentation, that shouldn’t worry you—just plan more time for the visa application process, and you got real chances to actually get that visa.
As people are often confused what is considered a serious criminal conviction, we have provided a list of character requirements for you from www.immi.gov.au.
Substantial criminal records
A person is deemed to have a substantial criminal record if they have been:
- -sentenced to either death or life imprisonment
- -sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 12 months or more
- -sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment (whether on one or more occasions), where the total of those terms is two years or more
- -acquitted of an offence on the grounds of either unsoundness of mind or insanity and, as a result, the person has been detained in a facility or institution.
You will have to pass a character test to determine whether you are “of acceptable character” to enter Australia. Here are the requirements for the character test:
A Character test
A person will fail the character test where:
- -they have a substantial criminal record
- -they have, or have had, an association with an individual, group or organization suspected of having been, or being, involved in criminal conduct
- -having regard to the person’s past and present criminal conduct, the person is found not to be of good character
- -having regard to the person’s past and present general conduct, the person is found to be not of good character
- -there is a significant risk that the person will engage in criminal conduct in Australia, harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person in Australia, vilify a segment of the Australian community, or incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community.
Other possible refusals
A visa will be refused where the person is assessed by the competent Australian authorities to be directly or indirectly a risk to Australian national security.
Similarly, a visa will be refused where a person is determined by the Foreign Minister, or a person authorized by the Foreign Minister, to be a person whose presence in Australia:
- is, or would be, contrary to Australia’s foreign policy interests, or
- may be directly or indirectly associated with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
So, if you have none of the above, you shouldn’t stress out, and answer all application questions without anxiety.