Can you qualify for a Australian 600 Visitor Visa with Convictions (2 DUIs)?

Old Sep 5, 18, 6:00 am
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Can you qualify for a Australian 600 Visitor Visa with Convictions (2 DUIs)?

Hello all!

My husband and I have travel plans to go to Australia this December. I applied for a ETA visa and was almost immediately accepted (Yay for me).
The hubby, however, has a pending subclass 600 visitor visa. He was unable to apply for the ETA like I was due to two previous DUIs on his record (his biggest regrets in life!) and serving jail time because of them. His probation sentencing required so many hours of AA, weekly meetings with the probation officer, license revoked for 4 years, and completed 6 or 7 weekends of jail time in total, plus a whole lot of fines.
Had he not completed the requirements (the probation hearing I guess itís called??), he would have had to serve 12 months jail time. This was 5 years ago, if it matters.

Part of the character requirements states (from the Australian Government Affairs website) ďyou will not pass the character test if you have a substantial criminal record, meaning you have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, or multiple sentences that add up to more than 12 months in prison. A suspended sentence is considered a prison sentenceĒ.

We are freaking out that his visa will not be accepted due to the 12 month sentencing (even though he did not serve the 12 months).
Does this mean heís automatically going to be declined? Is there anything we can do to help his case? Anyone here have a similar situation they can share where they did get accepted? Iím so anxious waiting for response and fearing heís going to get rejected.

Would greatly appreciate any feedback on the matter. Thank you!

TL;DR: Planed trip to Aus in >4 months. Husband applied for subclass 600 visa, has 2 DUIs on record, was sentenced 12 months jail time though only had to serve a few weekends. Is his visa automatically going to get declined, or is there hope?

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Old Sep 5, 18, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by MyUsername22 View Post
We are freaking out that his visa will not be accepted due to the 12 month sentencing (even though he did not serve the 12 months).
Does this mean heís automatically going to be declined? Is there anything we can do to help his case? Anyone here have a similar situation they can share where they did get accepted? Iím so anxious waiting for response and fearing heís going to get rejected.
The fact that he has been sentenced to a cumulative term of imprisonment totaling 12 months or more means that he will fail the character test. It is not relevant what term he did actually serve, what probation was served, or what fines were paid. See https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about...ts/79character

The issue then is whether failing the character test results in refusal of a visa. The answer is that "the Department will consider all circumstances of your case",
When a person does not pass the character test, the Minister or his delegate will decide whether or not to refuse the application or sponsorship, or to cancel their visa. When making this decision, a wide range of factors will be considered, including the protection of the Australian community, the best interests of any minor children in Australia who may be affected by a decision to refuse or cancel the person's visa and expectations of the Australian community. Other factors are also considered, such as Australia's international legal obligations, the impact of visa refusal or cancellation on a person's family in Australia, any impact on Australian business interests and the impact on the Australian community if a visa were to not be refused or cancelled.
In other words, no, he won't automatically be refused. But there is a material chance of being refused with a 12 month sentence. You have a right of appeal and it may be worth contacting a lawyer. See this thread for a recommendation Australia visa DUI
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Old Sep 5, 18, 10:45 am
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Thank you for the information, jridge!
I feel slightly better knowing that it doesn't mean it will be an automatic fail. Fingers crossed it will be ok!
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Old Sep 5, 18, 4:20 pm
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Your husband sounds like a borderline case.

I would recommend an immigration lawyer for your situation. That will give you the best odds (I'd say very good odds) of obtaining a tourist visa. As the lawyers know exactly how to word things and present applications.

If your application is rejected, it may be impossible to reapply. I'm not sure if it is too late or not, but I would suggest contacting a lawyer ASAP. I can recommend https://mnvisa.com/ , but I am not affiliated with them in any way.
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Old Sep 5, 18, 4:38 pm
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Thank you for your reply, CPMaverick. We all ready submitted his application in June, had to submit additional documents in July, and itís been pending since then. Do you think the immigration lawyer would still be beneficial? I really wish we had gone through one in the beginning!
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Old Sep 5, 18, 5:09 pm
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OP - your husband should be fine.

1. He was officially sentenced for less than 12 months of imprisonment. That's what matters.

2. Apparently, DUI is a relatively minor offense in Australia, as some other FTers were able to obtain a visa even with a more severe conviction (drug possession).
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Old Sep 5, 18, 6:27 pm
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Thatís very reassuring - thank you, garykung!
Fingers crossed all will go smoothly and we receive his acceptance soon 🤞🏼
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Old Sep 6, 18, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
OP - your husband should be fine.

1. He was officially sentenced for less than 12 months of imprisonment. That's what matters.

2. Apparently, DUI is a relatively minor offense in Australia, as some other FTers were able to obtain a visa even with a more severe conviction (drug possession).
To say that "DUI is a relatively minor offense" is extremely simplistic. "DUI" is not a single offense, it is a graduated scale. What you say may be true of a low-grade DUI (marginally over the limit, no injuries, no damage, etc.) but it is certainly not true of a high-grade DUI which is eligible for a year-plus custodial sentence - that makes it more like a felony.

Similarly for drug possession, it is not a single offense. Possession for personal use is way different from possession with intent to distribute. Details and quantities matter. Just look at the UCR codes.

None of this is to say that OP's husband won't get a visa; he may well be successful. But drawing a conclusion by comparing to situations with different facts only gives false confidence.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by jridge View Post
Similarly for drug possession, it is not a single offense. Possession for personal use is way different from possession with intent to distribute. Details and quantities matter. Just look at the UCR codes.
UCR codes have exactly zero relevance to Australian law and how they will view a US conviction.

They will look at the broad situation (DWI) and then consider the specific details (time since offence, sentence given, satisfaction of penalty, etc) with a view towards the likelihood of offending while in Australia and then reach a determination.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by JamesBigglesworth View Post
UCR codes have exactly zero relevance to Australian law and how they will view a US conviction.

They will look at the broad situation (DWI) and then consider the specific details (time since offence, sentence given, satisfaction of penalty, etc) with a view towards the likelihood of offending while in Australia and then reach a determination.
I agree. The point of mentioning that was to illustrate that "drug possession" can mean anything out of about a dozen (or more) different offenses, to the point where saying "someone got a visa despite having a drug possession conviction" is pretty much meaningless.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 4:28 am
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Originally Posted by MyUsername22 View Post
Thank you for your reply, CPMaverick. We all ready submitted his application in June, had to submit additional documents in July, and itís been pending since then. Do you think the immigration lawyer would still be beneficial? I really wish we had gone through one in the beginning!
I would suggest you contact a lawyer, and inquire. They should be able to tell you up front if they think they can help you, or if you just need to wait, at no charge.

Good luck!
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Old Sep 6, 18, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
I would suggest you contact a lawyer, and inquire. They should be able to tell you up front if they think they can help you, or if you just need to wait, at no charge.

Good luck!
This is the best advice of all.

I am in no way suggesting that OP has provided anything less than accurate detail. But, these situations benefit from a dispassionate review and a thorough knowledge of how Australian authorities treat second offenses.

Bear in mind that there are many who have provided opinions here without even asking where the offenses occurred. In New Jersey, DUI is a 2-year misdemeanor which many jurisdictions look at as a felony. Just one example of why gathering facts and putting the best foor forward are of real value.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 10:28 am
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Thank you everyone for your feedback.
We will be contacting an immigration lawyer today to see if they can provide us with any advise or assistance on the matter.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by jridge View Post
I agree. The point of mentioning that was to illustrate that "drug possession" can mean anything out of about a dozen (or more) different offenses, to the point where saying "someone got a visa despite having a drug possession conviction" is pretty much meaningless.

Ah, now I understand. My mistake.
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