Creevey Russell Lawyers are often asked by client’s that are not citizens of Australia what effect a criminal conviction could have on their ability to remain in Australia.
Cancelling a Migration Act Visa
Under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) section 201 a person who is not an Australian citizen but has been a permanent resident for less than 10 years, and who is convicted for an offence for which they are imprisoned for one year or more may be deported by DIAC. Section 501 of the Act provides much broader discretionary grounds and allows the Minister of DIAC to cancel a temporary or permanent visa on character grounds. Character grounds includes terms of imprisonment of 12 months or more as a substantial criminal record (s501(7)).
What is a substantial criminal record?
You will have a substantial criminal record if you were:
- sentenced to death or life imprisonment
- sentenced to prison for more than 12 months
- sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment, where the total of those terms is 12 months or more (this includes all terms of imprisonment, including those that are to be served concurrently)
- acquitted of an offence on the grounds of unsoundness of mind or insanity and, as a result, been detained in a facility or institution
- found by a court not to be fit to plead in relation to offence but found to have committed the offence and as a result detained in a facility or institution.
Periods of imprisonment include time spent in periodic detention and court-ordered residential drug rehabilitation schemes
What should I do
If you are not a citizen of Australia and are charged with a criminal offence it is important that you seek advice on the effect that a conviction will have on your visa and ultimately you ability to remain in Australia.
For further information, please contact Patrick Quinn at Creevey Russell Lawyers.
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