How Much Does Your Character Background Impact Your Visa Application?
Do you know that your Australian visa application can be refused due to not meeting the character requirement? Yes, that’s how your character background can affect your visa application.
Character requirement is one of the most fundamental requirements you must meet in applying for an Australian visa. The Australian Government is stringent when it comes to character background. If they find an Australian visa applicant with profound conviction, they will refuse the visa application directly.
Character Requirement for Australian Visa
The character requirement for Australian visa and citizenship applications is regulated under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958. According to the information provided on the Department of Home Affairs official website, In general, you are assessed not to meet the character requirement, if you:
- Have a substantial criminal record (evaluated based on the length of a sentence imposed by a court of law)
- 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 organization, or had or have an association with a person, group or organization that the Minister reasonably suspects of being involved in criminal conduct
- The Minister 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 as 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 a part of it
- Be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it
- You have been convicted, 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 are a direct or indirect risk to the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community
- You are or have been convicted of a domestic violence offence or have ever been subject to a domestic violence order
What to do If You Have a Criminal Conviction
If you have criminal convictions, the best thing to do is declare them and let the Department know about your convictions. It may sound like you are putting yourself at a disadvantage, but in fact, it will be better if you truthfully tell the Department about your character background instead of giving false information and trying to hide your convictions.
In assessing an Australian visa application, the Department will consider all the circumstances, including your and your sponsor’s circumstances. If you give false information in your Australian visa application, the Department may refuse your visa application right away.
Character Requirement and Australian Visa Refusal and Cancellation
As mentioned above, the Department of Home Affairs may refuse your Australian visa application if you do not meet the character requirement or when you give false information on your application. Not only refusing your visa application, but the Department may also cancel your Australian visa. There are various aspects to be considered in assessing your character background:
- The protection of the Australian community
- The best interests of any children in Australia
- Australia’s international legal responsibilities
- The impact of visa refusal or cancellation on your family in Australia
- Any implications for Australian business and community interests
And once the Department cancels your visa, they may not be able to grant you any other type of Australian visa.
The other important thing you must note is the character requirement does not apply to the Australian visa applicant only but also to the sponsor. If you are applying for an Australian visa that requires sponsorship, such as a Partner Visa, the Department of Home Affairs will assess your sponsor’s character background. So, the assessment of your sponsor will affect your Australian visa application as well.
Got your Visa application refused? Find what to do here.
Case Study: My Sponsor has Criminal Conviction. Do I Have a Chance to Get an Australian Visa?
If the Department finds your sponsor has an issue with the character requirement, you may still have a chance to get your Australian visa application granted. However, the assessment process may become longer and more complex than usual, especially for the character assessment. It may be even more challenging when you or your sponsor do not declare the criminal convictions in the first place.
How would the character requirement assessment on your sponsor make your application more complex?
As mentioned before, the character requirement does not apply to the visa applicant only but also to the sponsor. It is important for the Department to assess your sponsor’s character background specifically for your safety as a prospective Australian temporary or permanent resident. The Australian Government will consider you as their prospective member of the Australian community. Based on their commitment to protecting the Australian community, they must make sure that nothing will risk your safety while you are in Australia. So, you and your sponsor need to truthfully declare your and your sponsor’s character background.
If there is substantial criminal conviction found, the character requirement assessment on your Australian visa application may take longer than usual because the Department must consider all information and documents provided. The Department may also give you and your sponsor a chance to explain the circumstances further, such as presenting the reasons for the conviction or proving that you and your sponsor have grown into better persons or further testimonials from people around you and your sponsor.
The Department will fairly weigh all the information, documents and circumstances surrounding you and your sponsor before deciding on your Australian visa application.
Best Thing to do: Get Professional Advice from a Registered Migration Agent
We understand that you may have made mistakes in your past and we are not here to judge. ONE derland Consulting is ready to listen and give you the best advice if you are unsure about your capability to meet the character requirement.
Engage ONE derland Consulting to prepare your Australian visa application. We will assist you from the beginning to the end and make the process as easy as it should be, and perform the following:
- Assess your eligibility for an Australian visa. We will provide you with advice on whether you should spend your money and time on an Australian visa application or if you have alternative options;
- We will provide you with written agreements and quotes to process your application if you are eligible. The agreement will cover our obligations and duty as a migration agent;
- Our agreement is transparent with no hidden fees. All the aspects of works are covered in the agreement;
- We will provide you with a dedicated Case Manager as your one point of contact. The Case Manager will assist you with your Australian visa application and keep you informed of the progress of your case;
- A tailored document checklist will be provided. We will provide you with a tailored document checklist to support your application which covers all of your circumstances and reasons for applying for a visa;
- We will prepare all the supporting documents, including a specified submission based on your circumstances to make your application stronger;
- Our migration agent will be your representative to communicate with the Department and/or during your AAT process, so you do not need to worry about communicating with the relevant authorities;
- Your application will be prepared by our Registered Migration Agent, who will go through your documents in more detail; anything missing will be identified and rectified;
- All of our team are dedicated to serving our clients, and we should be able to get back to you within 24 hours or less for any enquiries you may have.
We fully understand that applying for a visa to Australia is certainly very complicated. It is even more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our visa specialists at ONEderland Consulting will help you assess your visa options. We have a 98% success rate and are one of Australia’s most highly recommended migration agents. Read our 4.9* score customer reviews.
We are complex visa specialists. As registered Australian migration agents with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), we are regulated in our professional practice and bound by the profession’s Code of Conduct issued by the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
Take the first step and get in touch with us. Our team members are professional, honest and speak various languages such as Mandarin/ Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Japanese, and Thai. Contact us through email at [email protected] or via phone on 1300 827 159. Alternatively, you may book your consultation online, and it is backed by our 100% Money Back Guarantee Program.