What if I do not meet the character requirement?

Your visa application might be refused or your visa might be cancelled if you do not meet the character requirement. Decisions to cancel or refuse visas on the basis of the character test are made after full consideration of all the circumstances of a case.

This decision will consider a range of factors including:

  • the protection of the Australian community
  • the best interests of any children in Australia
  • Australia’s international legal obligations
  • your age, health, level of education, business and family and community ties in Australia.

Mandatory Cancellation

However, if you are currently serving a full-time custodial sentence and have ever been sentenced a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more, or have had a charge proven for or have been convicted of, found guilty of or had a charge proven for a sexually based crime involving a child, your visa must be cancelled. We will provide you with 28 days to request revocation of this decision if your visa is cancelled in these circumstances.

In considering requests for revocation of a mandatory cancellation decision, we will consider all circumstances of your case.

Exclusion from Australia

A person whose visa is cancelled on character grounds and removed from Australia will be permanently excluded from being granted another visa to re-enter Australia. The cancellation of your visa will also prevent you from applying for most other visas to remain Australia.

More information about how the character requirement is applied and how a decision is made to refuse or cancel a visa is available in Ministerial Direction 65 (427KB PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions