Do you need to apply for a Visa?

If you are a New Zealander with a criminal history then you may need to apply for a visa to travel to Australia. If you have been imprisioned for over a year, you will definitely need to apply for an Australian Visa.

If you are a New Zealand citizen with criminal convictions, no matter how long ago your convictions were, or whether they have been removed from government records, you are required to obtain written confirmation from DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) before you travel to Australia.

Please download the Consent to Disclosure of Information form below. This will allow the NZ Police to provide the Australian Consulate-General with details of your criminal history and save you time and stress when entering Australia.

Consent to Disclosure of Information (NZ Police) Form

Complete the form and post it to :

Australian Consulate-General
Level 7
Pricewaterhouse Coopers Tower
186-194 Quay Street
Auckland 1010
Email: immigration.auckland@dfat.gov.au

The Police will forward the results of your police check direct to the Australian Consulate-General in Auckland. You will then be informed in writing whether or not you need to lodge an application for a visa to enter Australia.

If a visa application is required the application form including a check list will be sent to you. If required to lodge a visa application, please do so at the Australian Consulate-General in Auckland.

Once the application is received it will be forwarded to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in Melbourne, Australia for the assessment of your character, while all other processing will occur in Auckland.

You will then be advised of the outcome of your visa application. The time frame for the assessments of your character by DIAC in Melbourne will vary depending upon the specifics of your circumstances, but can take up to several months.

Request your own Criminal Conviction History

You can request your own criminal conviction history for free from NZ Government Ministry of Justice – https://www.justice.govt.nz/criminal-records/get-your-own/.

26 Comments

  1. Kimberley

    November 11, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Hi, I am wanting to know if it will be possible for me to move to Australia to be with my Fiance once I am off home detention. I am currently serving a sentence of 10 months home detention for a drug conviction. My partner is an Australian citizen and is in prison here in nz for the same charges. When he gets out he will be deported back to Australia. We have been together for 3 years and once he gets released it will be 5 years. I can’t seem to find the answer online anywhere. But I think it might be in my favour that I wasn’t sentenced to imprisonment but then against me is the fact that it is quite a serious drug conviction. What do you think the chances are of me moving to Australia in a couple of years. I will have the support of his family over there and will be able to get character references etc. Any info would be great thank you.
    Kimberley

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      November 18, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Kimberly,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You are right in saying that having no prison time is good (under one year). However, they will still look into your conviction and make a decision. Unfortunately I can’t give you a yes or no answer.
      You will need to obtain written confirmation from the DIBP closer to when you want to move.
      Please note, NZ and Australia immigration rules are continually changing and they might be even more in your favor in two years.
      I recommend making the most of your time off home detention and build your positive character references. This will make a big difference to your application.
      Feel free to get back in contact closer to when you are moving and I can update you on any changes.
      Sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Reply
      • Kimberley

        November 22, 2018 at 8:04 pm

        Thank you for the reply
        🙂

        Reply
  2. Kayla

    October 11, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Hi,

    My family and I (me, partner plus 4 kids) are planning on moving to Australia from Nz in the next 6 months, my partner has criminal convictions (mainly traffic violations) his latest is receiving stolen property and was sentenced to 6 months community detention but no prison time.
    Should we just declare that he has a criminal
    conviction on the arrival card or do we need to go through the process of releasing this information from nz police to the Australia embassy?

    Cheers.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 28, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Kayla,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I would definitely go through the process of obtaining written confirmation from DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) before you travel to Australia. This will reduce a lot of stress and time when you enter Australia.
      You can find all the info you need here: https://newzealand.embassy.gov.au/wltn/travellingwithacriminalconviction.html. This process takes approximately three weeks from the date the completed form is received by the Consulate.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. hame

    September 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Hi JJ Smith

    I have served two terms of imprisonment, both over 12 month. Most of the charges are fraud related and drink driving charges, x 2 assaults – many years ago. The most resent charges where early 2017 for drink drink driving and falsely using a document (I was sentenced 6 months home detention)
    I have applied for the special visa, I didn’t realise it would take so long so still attempted to get into Australia from New Zealand (declaring my criminal convictions) but was returned the following day after being held in the detention centre.
    I am still waiting for an answer for the special visa, Do you think I have any chance of going there for a 14 day holiday?
    Your help would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
    Hame

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 18, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Hame,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately I can’t be of much help. I don’t know anything about holiday Visas.
      Sadly, I recommend that you wait for your special Visa to come back. I can’t find anything online that will help.
      Good luck!
      Thanks,
      JJ Smith

      Reply
  4. Ashley

    September 12, 2018 at 12:56 am

    Hello! I was planning on moving to australia, I have a criminal conviction (DUI) which was 6 months loss of license. I wasn’t aware I had to apply for a visa until I saw it in my contract. I am now freaking out becuase it specifically says I will have the job when the department of home affairs are satisfied and obtain a visa permitting me to work in australia. I’ve sent the forms in to the consulate and now I am waiting. What visa will I need? I would rather apply for it now.

    Reply
  5. Tracey

    August 29, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Hi there
    I would like to move to Australia to live and work. I have no convictions however my husband served 4 years in jail for aggravated robbery. This was 16 yrs ago and no problems since and would have excellent character references. He can get a work transfer to his jobs Australian branch who need workers such as his area of work.do you think they give working visas to those with convictions?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 4, 2018 at 12:25 am

      Hi Tracey,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I think he has a great chance of getting a work Visa for Australia, as the conviction was so many years ago, he hasn’t been in any trouble since then and has great character references.
      However, he will not be able to travel and work on the SCV you will automatically get as a New Zealander. He will need to apply for Visa.
      You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/). Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
      You can find more info on SCV here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-visa/.
      Hope the above helps. Please feel free to ask further questions.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  6. Mike

    August 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Hello,
    I lost my drivers licence 15 years ago for six months and paid a fine, there was no jail time and I have been to Australia for a holiday on my current passport but don’t remember ever doing the Consent to Disclosure of Information form. My wife and I are intending to move to Australia to live and work, am I right in assuming that because I’ve already traveled in and out Of Australia that either I did complete the form when I renewed my passport last time or there just isn’t any issue regarding my past conviction?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 17, 2015 at 5:06 am

      Hi Mike,
      Thank you for enquiry.
      As you did no jail time you will be automatically granted a SCV and can happily move to Australia.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  7. Raven

    July 30, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Hi there. First of all, thank you for the great job you have done to help out people like me, 🙂 its much appreciated. Well im hoping you could help clear up a bit of confusion I have. I have a criminal record with 2 serious assault charges. I traveled to oz twice within two years after my last conviction. I declared my convictions at customs. The first time they took me aside and had me fill a form in and just sent me on my way. The second time, I again declared convictions on arrival and this time they didn’t bat an eyelid about it just waved me through. I was given a stamp in my passport both times. Now I am thinking of moving there and hoping it will be as straight forward as it has been previously. I am unsure if this means I have qualified for scv despite my convictions. Would you please share your thoughts with me? Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    • Raven

      July 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      I’d just like to add that I haven’t done any jail time.

      Reply
      • JJ Smith

        July 31, 2015 at 6:37 am

        Hi Raven,
        Thank you for your enquiry.
        As you haven’t done any jail time and they have let you in to Australia twice, you will be fine and would have already been granted the CSV on your visits. So yes please feel free to move whenever you like.
        Good luck with your move.

        Reply
        • Raven

          August 3, 2015 at 7:49 am

          Hi I’d just like to say a big thank you for your reply. Obviously I am ecstatic to hear this. I will definitely look into using the services you have recommended closer to the date of the big move! You have put my mind at ease. Again, many thanks, Raven

          Reply
  8. Janie

    December 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Hi there,
    I am looking to go to Australia next year for a wedding and the possibility of moving there for work in the future. I’m fully employed with no dependents at home. I would also be able to gain employment there no problem as i have lots of family in Australia, and excellent references. I had a clean record for 12+ years until a couple of years ago when I separated from my then husband, then everything turned to custard for a while. 2 mild offenses in 2 years. the last one 12 months ago. what would be my chances of entering for the wedding. and my chances of maybe moving there to work later on??
    Thank you
    Janie 🙂

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      December 9, 2014 at 4:05 am

      Hi Janie,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      However, I cannot give you an exact answer, as it depends on the offenses and if you severed any jail time. You should be fine if they were minor offenses, as generally anything under 1 year jail time is acceptable.
      Therefore, I recommend you complete the Visa wizard and if there is a problem contact an immigration specialist:
      – Australia Visa Wizard: http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard/
      The Visa Wizard can help you find the Australian visa most likely to meet your specific circumstances.
      – You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/). Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  9. Alan

    December 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Hi, I am currently living in New Zealand but am considering a move to Australia. The problem is that I have a number of driving offenses from my early 20’s in Ireland. All for no insurance (which is compulsory) and no registration. I also don’t think I declared them on my last e tourist visa when passing through Australia but I know they will be on my Police cert if I apply for a working holiday. Am I screwed?

    Reply
  10. Emma

    November 24, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Hi there, I’m a sole mother looking to move to melbourne . Im an Australian citizen by decent, and have a certificate etc for this. However I have a New Zealand criminal record(a recent charge of obtaining by deception which I got 4mnths 7pm-7am home d for) will this effect my getting into aus, Will i need a visa as I am a aus citizen by decent but my 2 children are not. thank you.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      November 25, 2014 at 3:22 am

      Hi Emma,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I believe you will be fine. Anything under 1 year in prison.
      However, definitely complete the Visa wizard and if there is a problem contact an immigration specialist:
      – Australia Visa Wizard: http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard/
      The Visa Wizard can help you find the Australian visa most likely to meet your specific circumstances.
      – You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/). Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  11. Andrea

    September 3, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Hi,
    A friend of mine was denied a SCV after a criminal history disclosure. Failing the character requirements. It did say that he was able to apply for a visa with a chance to give supporting documentation and defend the information that they received through the criminal history. He intends to live permanently in Australia. What visa does he need to apply for? It does not say in the email and I can’t seem to find the right one on the website.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 3, 2014 at 5:03 am

      Hi Andrea,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I do not know what kind of Visa your friend will need. However, I do highly recommend applying for the Visa through a specialist, as they will know the best Visa to apply for and the best way to communicate with the Australian Government.
      You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/). Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
      Good luck.

      Reply
  12. Stacey

    September 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Hi there,
    Im just curious to know if my family and i are able to move to australia ?
    The thing is, i have a criminal conviction. I was 18 when i got sentenced to 4months in prison for agg rob. I just want to know if i can move to australia to start a life for me and my little family???
    What do i need to do?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 2, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Hi Stacey,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      From my research, you have to declare your criminal conviction to the Australian Government on entry and then they decide weather to grant you a SCV on your individual circumstances.
      The longer ago the conviction was, the better for you and as you have been in prison for less than a year, you should not have a problem.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.