I recently assisted a couple who were struggling to meet the character requirements for a partner visa. The applicant wanted to marry his partner and stay with her in Australia, however he did not meet the character requirements for his visa application due to a criminal conviction received when he was younger. Progressing with the visa application without strong grounds to prove the conviction was held under exceptional circumstances would have meant his application would have been refused.
After obtaining and reviewing the client’s court records and transcripts, it was apparent that the crime committed would not have been charged as a serious offence under Australian legislation. I was able to collect information and records in support of this while highlighting the applicant’s current character status, which had remained pristine since the conviction. I also liaised with the applicant’s Head of Embassy and the Department of Home Affairs on the client’s behalf to advocate for the exceptional circumstances under which the conviction was held. The character issue was consequently resolved and the client was successfully granted the partner visa.
The criteria to grant or refuse a visa in Australia is very strict, but unfortunately people’s circumstances are rarely ever black and white. I’m glad that the client’s visa was granted and that he wasn’t unfairly penalised with a visa refusal. It was very satisfying to see him able to stay in Australia with the person he cared about most while continuing to be a good citizen of Australia.