Incidents that could cause visa applications to be cancelled

We recently succeeded on two very similar cases.

Firstly, an Indian client had been arrested for drink-driving at a low range whilst working in America. He had realised he was over the blood alcohol limit whilst driving when he had a minor altercation with a traffic barrier so he pulled over and voluntarily waited for the police to arrest him before testing his blood alcohol limit.

He went to court and had a low level recording of the matter on his criminal record and had to do a lot of community service.

457 work visa application – impact of this offence

My Indian client was very concerned about the effect of all this on his 457 work visa application to urgently take up an IT contract position in Melbourne, as he knew that Australia has strict rules on criminal background checks and being of good “character”.

Secondly, a Swedish client had been imprisoned for 3 months and placed on a 12 month behaviour bond whilst living in the USA. These penalties seemed very harsh, as all my Swedish client had done was provided false information on a job application.

In my experience, it is almost unheard of for job applicants to do otherwise! Nevertheless, America has a very conservative and harsh view of some legal matters and my client had been convicted and sentenced accordingly.

Regardless of the fact it was not a major felony, my client was extremely concerned about his ability to now visit his new girlfriend in Australia several years later.

Australian immigration point of these two incidents

Our two clients had every reason to be concerned about the risks of not being able to enter Australia with a criminal record, minor as it was in each case. People with a substantial criminal record and or poor character can be refused entry to Australia.

This happened just recently with a famous American rapper who was banned from touring Australia. Unfortunately for the rapper “Tyler the Creator” and his migration plans, domestic violence is a big topic in the media right now in Australia and some of his rap lyrics were used by opponents to his Australian visa to orchestrate an initial ban on him visiting Australia.

His opponents claimed his music promoted violence against women.

Of course, violence against anyone is wrong, but the fact Tyler’s public opponents were able to gain such political leverage on a fairly high profile visa application proves how political migration can be (on this political point please read our article “the 10 Golden Rules of Migration”)

Chris Brown, a more controversial and well known American R n B singer was more recently given notice to show cause as to why he should be given a visa, and not have his visa application refused, to tour Australia.

In 2009 Brown was convicted of assault and threatening to kill his girlfriend singer Rihanna and was sentenced to five years’ probation.

The issue for Australia’s immigration department is not just the crime itself but the sentence imposed. The sentence is regarded as an indication of how serious the crime is.

As a former criminal defence lawyer I know that the sentence is however more indicative of the circumstances of the crime combined with the criminal’s background and the exact circumstances actual criminal incident. However, that is not how Australia’s immigration department sees matters at least initially and where a visa applicant is uninformed and or unrepresented legally.

Benefit to you of our migration law advice as experienced by our two clients

Our legal submission to the Australian immigration department for our Indian client covered the full range and background to his incident.

Specifically we explored and explained in depth the actual minor nature of the incident in American law and our client’s exemplary background without any other criminal blemish for his entire life before and afterwards.

We also highlighted our Indian client’s career achievements and the work opportunity awaiting him in Australia as well as the benefits to the Australian community of him being granted a visa.

After his visa was granted our client wrote this of our advice:

Yes Justin. Thank you for your assistance so far. I really had the confidence that you would be able to help me out if the situation got difficult. And that assurance meant a lot to me.

Thank you so much. It was nice interacting with you.


For our Swedish client, by researching his actual offence under American law, we were able to advise and pacify him that his conviction was of the most minor nature and would not cause alarm or concern with the Australian migration authorities.

He is now proceeding confidently with his visa application. By the way, we were also able to establish, much to our Swedish client’s delight, that his American criminal record could be expunged – a fact even his American lawyer had overlooked telling him.

Here’s what he wrote me afterwards:

Thank you so much for the information you gave me and for the consultation, you lifted up my spirit a lot…

In conclusion – if you want an Australian visa and are stressed, worried or anxious about having even the most minor criminal record, which a surprising amount of people actually have, then we can help you by exploring and explaining to Australia’s migration department:

  • That your sentence is more indicative of the circumstances of the crime combined with your background and the exact circumstances actual criminal incident
  • in depth the actual minor nature of the incident in context of the local law you were convicted under
  • your otherwise exemplary background without any other criminal blemish where that is the case
  • your entire life before and after the relevant criminal incident.
  • How Australian migration law relates to your particular situation

In short, we will help vastly increase your chances of obtaining an Australian visa.

Take the first step to your new life in Australia with our Free Immigration Consultation – learn more.