All visa applicants aged 16 and over require a police clearance if they are applying for permanent entry to Australia, and most other applicants require a clearance if their stay in Australia will exceed 12 months. Some applicants whose stay in Australia will be for less than 12 months may also be requested to provide a clearance. Applicants aged under 16 are not generally required to provide a police clearance.
Applicants who must provide a police clearance must do so for each country in which they have resided for 12 months or more (either consecutively or cumulatively) during the 10 years immediately prior to their visa application and since reaching the age of 16. This includes Australia.
Citizenship by Descent applicants
You need overseas penal clearance certificates from each country you spent more than 90 days in if, in the last 10 years you:
- have lived or travelled overseas since reaching the age of 18 years of age, and
- spent time overseas that adds up to 12 months or more, or
- if we ask you to do so.
Applicants must submit an Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Police Check from the AFP website if they have spent any time in Australia since turning 18 years of age.
How to obtain a clearance
Applicants should refer to the Character Requirements Information Form instructions on how to apply for clearances from various countries. Applicants should bear in mind that processing times vary considerably and should apply in a timely manner. Those requiring a UK penal clearance may wish to take into account that the processing time is around 49 days. The London office is unable to expedite penal clearances as these are solely the responsibility of the relevant processing agency.
See: Character Requirements Information Form