Travelling with a Criminal Conviction
What if I am a New Zealand citizen and have a criminal history?
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 the Department of Home Affairs before you travel to Australia.
Convictions in New Zealand
Please download the Consent to Disclosure of Information (NZ Police) Form. This will allow the New Zealand police to provide the Australian Consulate-General with details of your criminal history.
Complete the form and return it to the Australian Consulate-General via the postal or email address below.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers Tower
186-194 Quay Street
You will be informed in writing whether or not you are required to lodge an application for a visa to enter Australia prior to travel. This process takes approximately three weeks from the date the completed form is received by the Consulate.
Convictions in any other country
If you have convictions in any country, including Australia, you are required to provide a police clearance from that country to the Department. You will then be informed in writing whether or not you need to lodge an application for a visa to enter Australia. Please visit this link for instructions on obtaining the appropriate police clearance from relevant countries: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Char
Initial processing of visa applications begins at the Australian Consulate-General in Auckland. Section 501 Character assessments are sent to the Visa Application Character Consideration Unit (VACCU) in Melbourne, Australia.
The time frame for a character assessment by VACCU will vary depending upon the specifics of your circumstances, but can take six months or more.
More information on character is available here: http://www.border.gov.au/about/corporate/information/fact-sheets/79character