If you are a New Zealander with a criminal history then you will need to get written confirmation of your criminal history from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) before you travel to Australia. If you have been imprisioned for over a year, you will 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. This will determine whether you would be assessed as a ‘behaviour concern non-citizen’.
Download the Consent to Disclosure of Information (NZ Police) Form. This will allow the New Zealand police to provide the Australian High Commission with details of your criminal history and save you time and stress when entering Australia.
Complete the form and return it to the Australian High Commission via the postal or email address below.
Australian High Commission
72-76 Hobson Street,
You will be informed in writing whether or not you may be eligible for a Special Category Visa. If you are assessed as being a behaviour concern non-citizen, you are encouraged to lodge an application for an appropriate visa to enter Australia prior to your expected travel date.
Processing time for Criminal History checks is 25 working days from the date the completed form is received by the High Commission. Enquiries in relation to the progress of checks will not be responded to if they fall within the 25 working day period.
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 you have criminal convictions in any other country (including Australia), when you arrive in Australia you must declare your criminal convictions, regardless of which country or how long ago the convictions occurred. This declaration is made on your incoming passenger card as part of the immigration clearance process. Your declaration will be assessed by an Australian Border Force Officer.
For further information about Australia’s character requirements and what supporting evidence you may be asked to provide, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/character
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.
You may not pass the character requirements in some circumstances. These include if:
Even if you fail the good character test, you may still be able to get a visa. Good behaviour can save the day! The Immigration Department look at your behaviour since sentencing. If you think this may help your case, consider providing evidence of your good behaviour since.
As above, no matter what the fine, you are required to obtain written confirmation from DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) before you travel to Australia.
If the DUI is the only conviction you have, it shouldn’t stop you from moving to Australia. However, make sure you’ve paid the fine.
If you have unpaid court fines or owe reparations payments, you may be stopped from leaving the country at the airport. Remember that parking tickets can become court fines if not paid on time.
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/.