• IMPORTANT NEWS – Community Support Programme opens 1 July 2017

    The Australian Government has announced the establishment of a Community Support Programme (CSP) from 1 July 2017. The CSP will enable communities and businesses, as well as families and individuals, to propose humanitarian visa applicants and support new humanitarian arrivals in their settlement journey. This i...

    Read More

  • Another successful Federal Circuit Court Appeal

    GMH Legal recently succeeded in an immigration law appeal before the Federal Circuit Court. The case involved an appeal of a student visa cancellation, which was eventually found to be affected by jurisdictional error in the decision of preceding Tribunal. Facts Our client was an international student enrolle...

    Read More

  • Australia is proposing lifetime ban for boat asylum seekers to Australia

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton described the plan as one of the government’s strongest moves, building on the success of its border protection policies over the past three years and that it sent a clear message that Australia was not an option. The Migration Act will be amended to ensure that asylum seekers...

    Read More

  • ICAO – Machine Readable Passports

    Palestinian who are issued with Travel Documents, or Sudanese and Bangladeshi nationals, as well as citizens of some African nations that have not upgraded their passports to Machine Readable Passports will not be able to travel internationally as of 24 November 2015. This is because the International Civil ...

    Read More

  • Discussion Paper: Community Support Programme

    15 July 2015 Assistant Secretary Citizenship and Humanitarian Policy Branch Department of Immigration and Border Protection PO Box 25 BELCONNEN ACT 2616 Dear Sir/Madam, Discussion Paper: Community Support Programme Please find enclosed a submission to the Department of Immigration and Bor...

    Read More

  • Major changes to the way in which a de-facto relationship is defined

    The Full Federal Court has now held that living together is now not a requirement needed to satisfy the definition of a “de facto partner” in Section 5CB of the Migration Act. In the case of SZOXP v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2015] FCAFC 69 (11 June 2015), the appellant is a citizen of C...

    Read More

Contact Us

Suite 309 – 310, Level 3
13A Montgomery Street

Ground Floor
54 Martin Place

Email: solicitors@gmhlegal.com
Phone: (02) 9587 0458
Facsimile: (02) 9587 2936


Character requirements

Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against the character requirements. As part of your visa application, you might be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements.

The character requirements are set out under Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958.

How character is assessed

You will not pass the character test if:

  • You have a substantial criminal record, meaning you have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, or multiple sentences that add up to more than 12 months in prison. A suspended sentence is considered a prison sentence.
  • you have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention, or convicted for an offence that you committed:
    • while you were in immigration detention
    • during an escape from immigration detention
    • after an escape, but before you were taken into immigration detention again.
    • you are or have been a member of a group or organisation, or had or have an association with a person, group or organisation that the Minister for Immigration reasonably suspects of involvement in criminal conduct
    • the Minister for Immigration reasonably suspects that you have been involved in people smuggling, people trafficking, genocide, a war crime, a crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime that is of serious international concern, whether or not you have been convicted of such an offence
    • your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character
    • there is a risk that while you are in Australia 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 or in a part of it
      • be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.
      • you have been convicted of, or found guilty or had a charge proven for one or more sexually based offences involving a child;
      • you are subject to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;
      • you are subject to an Interpol notice, from which it is reasonable to infer that you a direct or indirect risk to the Australian community, or a segment of the Australian community.

      If you are applying for temporary or permanent migration

      For the Australian Government to determine whether you are of good character, you might be asked to provide police certificates for each country you have lived in for 12 months or more, over the last 10 years, since turning 16 years of age.

      You must declare all recorded offences to us. If you do not declare an offence and we become aware of this it might have a negative impact on your application.

      Do not finalise any travel arrangements until after the grant of your visa. This is because visa processing times can vary depending on the visa type and your personal circumstances.

      Statutory declarations

      As part of the character assessment, you might be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration.

      In some instances you might also be required to provide personal details to allow additional character checks to be undertaken. Your case officer might ask you to complete a Form 80—Personal particulars for character assessment.

      If you are applying for a visa outside Australia, you do not have to provide this information with your application. You will be advised when it is required.

      If you are applying in Australia, you should provide this information with your application.

      If you are applying for Australian citizenship

      If you are applying for Australian citizenship you will be assessed under good character requirements.

      Information about Good character and offences for Australian citizenship is available on the application forms and the citizenship website.
      You might be required to provide a number of documents to prove you are of good character.

      Police certificates

      Police certificates are also known as a penal clearance certificate in some countries. If you need information regarding penal clearance/police certificates for a citizenship application refer to the information on the Good character and offences page on the citizenship website.

      When is a police certificate required?

      If you are over the age of 16 and have lived in any of the countries listed on this page for a total of one year or more in the last 10 years, you must get a police certificate from that country.

      The certificate must cover the period of time from the issue date back to the age you ceased to be a minor, or must cover the whole time you were in a country.

      For immigration purposes a police certificate is deemed to be valid for 12 months from the issue date.

      How do I obtain a police certificate?

      For instructions on obtaining a certificate from an overseas government or law enforcement authority, refer to the relevant country information.

      If you are required to provide an Australian police clearance certificate because you have spent more than 12 months in Australia within the last 10 years, you must complete the Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Police Check application form which is available from the AFP website.

      You should use Code 33 at Question 1 on the form and include details of any, and all, names you have been known by.

      If an AFP certificate is provided based on incorrect information, we might request another certificate.

Call the experienced team at GMH Legal to assist you in your matter. A free consultation with GMH Legal is an opportunity to gain deep insights into your legal situation and all of your options.

Why Choose GMH Legal?

  • Over 60 years of combined legal experience
  • Outstanding track record with a winning approach
  • First appointment is always free
  • Meet our team now.

banner banner banner banner banner banner banner banner banner banner