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Australian Visitor Visa - Criminal Convictions

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Hi everyone,

My dad applied for a full visitor visa at the start of January. He has a few convictions from 40 years ago when he was 17/18- he is now 61. I had no idea how much information was needed otherwise I would have told him to apply months ago. The application is at initial assessment stage and they have asked for a police certificate. I contacted ACRO straight away and paid for a priority service to have the certificate within 2 working days. After 4 working days still haven't heard anything so contacted them and they said historic checks need to be done which is done with an external company and can take between 2-6 weeks! Now the problem is we fly on 14/02 in a few weeks and I told them I need it urgently. They said they will do their best to get it done as quickly as possible but they can't promise a date. I've also requested a Subject Access Request at the same time and again they said this can take up to a month but can come back quicker than that.

I have helped him write a letter about what we plan to do in Australia which is just staying with friends and having a holiday there for just under 3 weeks.

He also has to write a personal statement about each conviction but it was such a long time ago he doesn't remember everything. 

We fly in 3 weeks time and I'm so worried and anxious that he won't get his visa on time. Is there anything I can do in the meantime as I feel I'm at a bit of a standstill until I get the certificate and SAR through. 

Has anyone else been in this situation before? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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Sorry to hear about this predicament. Unfortunately if the Department has requested police checks from an applicant for the purposes of ascertaining whether they meet the character requirement, then these must be provided. The application cannot progress until these are provided.

Please note that this posting is of a general nature only. It does not constitute legal or migration advice and may not apply to your particular circumstances.


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