Case study – Yuki – “Hearing that my husband had got his visa to visit Australia made our holiday”

Yuki contacted our helpline for some assistance regarding an application her husband had made to travel to Australia. When booking flights to visit her family in Australia, Yuki didn’t think that her husband’s old conviction from 25 years ago would present a problem.

However, when applying for his e-visitor visa he’d read that as part of the eligibility requirements;

“You must not have any criminal convictions, for which the sentence or sentences should not equal a total of 12 months duration or more (whether served or not), at the time of travel to, and entry into Australia.”

As her husband had received an 18-month suspended sentence it would be necessary for him to pass ‘the character requirement’. He was concerned that he’d not left enough time to make his application and that potentially he might fail the test if he was deemed to have a ‘substantial criminal record’.

He had applied for all the necessary accompanying information (for example his police certificate) and we suggested that he also provide evidence of what he’d achieved since his conviction (for example the fact that he is now married with a family, has a good job and is involved with local community groups in his area).

Yuki got back in touch with us on her return from Australia to let us know that her husband’s visa had been approved and he was able to join his family for the last 2 weeks of their 3 week holiday.

Yuki told us:

“We’d been planning this holiday for some time and the thought that my husband wouldn’t be able to join us really took the edge off our excitement. We were delighted when we knew that he was going to be able to fly out and meet us – seems like miracles do happen sometimes”.

Lessons

Many people will assume that once their conviction is spent it will have no impact on their ability to travel overseas. However, as this case demonstrates the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply when travelling overseas and in some cases it will be necessary to disclose old convictions which may prevent you from travelling.

Where visa decisions are considered on a case-by-case basis, it’s important to demonstrate the positive steps you’ve made to turn your life around.

Links

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Published September 2019

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