Travel to Australia with a Criminal Record

travel australia criminal record

Australia offers a wide variety of diverse landscapes to explore, from dry deserts to snowy mountains, through tropical rainforests. Add in the chance to see exotic fauna like kangaroos and koala bears in the wild, and it’s no surprise that Australia is an increasingly popular holiday destination. Although the majority of passport holders require some kind of Australia visa to enter the country, many citizens are able to easily get an ETA or eVisitor visa for short stays online. However, there is one major sticking point: applicants who wish to travel to Australia with a criminal record will not be eligible to complete an Australia visa application online.

How Does Australia Check for A Criminal Record?

Citizens of 60 countries eligible to apply for either an Australia eVisitor or ETA online visa first have to fulfill several Australia visa requirements before the visa will be approved. These include meeting certain character provisions that serve as an Australia criminal record check for visa approval.

The applicant must show that they have no intention to:

  • Harass, molest, intimidate, or stalk another person
  • Incite discord within, or vilify any part of, the Australian community
  • Pose any danger to the Australian community

Applicants may also be asked to supply supporting documentation in order to verify their character, including a police certificate (penal clearance certificate) from every country in which they lived and a letter from an employer to verify good conduct. Those who have served more than 12 months in any military force are required to provide a military certificate proving no criminal offense was committed during time served.

If the applicant has no substantial criminal record and a report of good behavior in general, then the e-visa for Australia will be granted.

What Criminal Records Prevent Travel to Australia?

In order to apply for the ETA or eVisitor visa online and travel to Australia, the applicant must not:

  • Have any conviction that resulted in a prison sentence of 12 months or more (regardless of time served)
  • Have been convicted for two or more offenses and the combined length of all your sentences amounts to 12 months or more (regardless of time served)
  • Have a suspended prison sentence where the period served, had it not been suspended, was 12 months or more.
  • Have been convicted of domestic violence. This applies to all offenders regardless of the length of their conviction and the country the crime was committed in.

The applicant will not be eligible to apply for the Australia e-visa online if they have any of the above convictions. However, those unable to get an eVisitor or ETA may still be able to travel to Australia with a criminal record.

How to Enter Australia with a Criminal Record

Travelers who don’t meet the character requirements or pass the Australia criminal record check may still apply for the Australia visitor visa through an Australian embassy.

When applying, the traveler must:

  • Be upfront about any criminal offenses
  • Answer any questions truthfully
  • Supply all the information requested

The most important thing is to be truthful, as the Australian Immigration Department will take all of the circumstances surrounding an individual case into account. The visa for Australia may be granted even if the character requirements are not met, depending on the traveler’s individual circumstances.

However, if an Australia criminal record check is carried out and the applicant is found to not have been truthful about their criminal record history, then the application will be refused.