You go to see Down Under Visa to organise a visa application, and they ask you for a police clearance from every country where you lived in for 12 months or more. It shows if they have a criminal record.
Why do you need this, and can you avoid it?
Australian Visas are governed by Regulations set down in Law, and each visa has it written into its Regulations that you must pass the “Character Test”. This means that the Department must be satisfied that the visa applicant is the sort of person that the Australian public are happy to have living next door to them. They can stop a person from coming into Australia, or even deport a person in Australia, for numerous reasons. Take note the Swiss “dating coach” who was banned from entry to Australia (see HERE). He had his visa revoked on character grounds.
The main issue for partner visa applicants is that they want a police clearance (or penal clearance) from every country where they have lived for 12 months or more (in total) in the last 10 years. For Filipinos/Filipinas, that means first and foremost an NBI Clearance from the National Bureau of Investigations. These are fairly common here, and most jobs require them. The applicant will already know how to get one.
Police Clearances from other countries
The ones which applicants often try to get out of are the clearances from other countries where they’ve lived. This is common for OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers) who have had to work abroad during their lives.
Now, we will give you full instructions on how to organise the police clearances that you will need for your visa application. Make sure you follow these instructions exactly, and note that some countries will only accept the application after the Embassy issues a letter requesting the clearance.
Don’t try to get out of it. The Embassy will not accept excuses or tales of missing documents. No clearance equals no visa. We just had a client’s Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage Visa, aka fiancée visa) take 17 ½ months to be granted! Reason? She was waiting all that time for a police clearance from Israel. It wasn’t her fault. The Israeli authorities just took a long time, and they were really slack about it. I felt sorry for her, but there was nothing I could do. I could only advise her to “keep on their backs” about it, and she did this until it finally came through. The visa was granted very quickly after that. If she had been lazy or made excuses? The application may have been refused.
Why would they refuse the visa application?
Because what is the first thing an applicant with a criminal record will do? They will try to hide it, of course! And the Embassy staff are not stupid, nor can they afford to be. Whilst the Philippines isn’t full of terrorists and war criminals, how safe would you feel in Australia if you thought the guardians of our borders were relaxed about things like this? Not very! So understand that they will do their jobs, and you need to be prepared to follow all instructions.