Penal Clearance Certificate - Australian Migration Info

Penal Clearance Certificate Overview

There are many requirements to be able to obtain a visa that allows you to enter Australia, but they all require the applicant to prove that they will not be a danger to Australian citizens or society.  Generally, it’s necessary to obtain a penal clearance certificate to prove that the applicant doesn’t have any sort of criminal record or history.

Although it sounds intimidating to get overseas police clearance for migration to Australia, it really isn’t as bad as it sounds.  Also, our migration experts at The Migration Place have helped countless applicants through this part of the visa process, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns at all.  No matter what your personal background is, we can advise you of how to have the greatest chances of entering Australia.

Criminal History and Penal Clearance Certificate

There is a fairly common belief that having any sort of criminal record abroad will automatically result in a denial of an Australian visa.  Fortunately, that simply isn’t true.  There are certain crimes that will result in a quick denial, but most minor crimes don’t fall into this category.  On the other hand, having had any legal troubles in the past will like make your application more complicated, so we highly recommend seeking the assistance of an expert to ensure you don’t needlessly receive a rejection.

Character Test for Penal Clearance Certificate

Before you go to all the trouble of obtaining overseas police clearance for migration to Australia, you should take into consideration what crimes will cause you to fail the character test required for a visa.

First, you will fail the character test if you have spent more than a year in prison.  Next, you will fail if you have any history of escaping from immigration police or doing some other highly illegal act with regards to being detained by immigration officials.  Third, if you are, or formerly were, associated with any criminal groups (as defined by the immigration officials), then you probably will fail the character test.  Fourth, you will fail the character test if it is believed you were involved in some sort of major international crime, such as genocide or human trafficking, even if you were never convicted for the offence.  The fifth way to fail is by having a history of sexual abuse with children.  Also, you can fail if you are under investigation by an Australian intelligence organization, or wanted by an international police group, such as Interpol.  Additionally, you can fail if there is a significant belief that you will engage in criminal activity while you are in Australia.  Finally, if your past history suggests that you are a significant risk, then you won’t be able to pass the test.

Keep in mind that some of these are straightforward, and others are much more ambiguous.  This makes it possible to pass or fail depending on the perception of the immigration officials reviewing your case, so it can be helpful to get the assistance of an immigration lawyer who has experience of knowing the best way to present the information.

Penal Clearance Certificate for Long-Term Stays

Generally, the longer you intend to stay in Australia, the more complex the visa application process will be.  This is true with regards to security, and you will be required to get overseas police clearance for migration to Australia if you intend to stay permanently.  To make things more complicated, you will probably have to get a penal clearance certificate for every country that you have lived in for more than a year.

Penal Clearance Certificate Application

You can apply for these police checks even if you are already in Australia, so it’s not too late if you get there and need additional information for a subsequent visa.  Also, it can be done online, so it’s possible to complete this process from Australia or abroad.

Requirements for Citizenship

It’s also worth noting that the character test has a much higher significance on an application for citizenship.  There are certain cases of criminal history which need to be specially approved before someone can complete their application to become an Australian citizen.

The citizenship process is extremely complex, and it generally requires many years to complete.  Therefore, if this is your goal, we recommend establishing a strategy at the beginning to help the process go as smoothly as possible.