What is a Substantial Criminal Record?

What does Australia class as a Substantial Criminal Record?

A substantial criminal record is based on the length of a sentence imposed by a court of law.

You have a substantial criminal record for the purposes of the character test in the Migration Act if you have been:

  • sentenced to death or imprisonment for life.
  • sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more.
  • sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment (even if served concurrently) where the total is 12 months or more.
  • found by a court to not be fit to plead in relation to an offence but found to have committed the offence and detained in a facility or institution.

Two major points to consider:

  1. Even if you do not meet the character requirements, Home Affairs can choose to grant your visa.
  2. If you are not completely honest about your criminal history, we may refuse your application.




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The information we give is based on personal experiences, reading and formulation of available statistics.
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