Australia Bans Travelers with DV Convictions
If you are planning to get away this summer to a more tropical locale, having a domestic violence charge on your record may bar your entry to some countries on your bucket list. This is a reality in Australia, which is already well-known for its stringent visa requirements when it comes to a visa applicant’s criminal history and overall character assessment. Recently, the Land Down Under added a newly defined restriction against those who have domestic violence charges pending or on their record.
Australia’s Stand Against Domestic Violence
Up until this year, Australia’s policy regarding domestic abuse criminals appeared subjective with no clear legislation in place to define it. As of February 28th this all changed and government legislators passed a new law that not only refuses entry to visa applicants with such histories but also deports domestic offenders living in the country on a visa.
Australia’s Immigration Minister made it clear that anyone committing crimes against women and children wasn’t welcome. The government hopes this legislation will bring a decline in domestic abuse crimes across the country, as well. Still, this policy change puts many foreign travelers with a criminal record of domestic violence in limbo as they must exit Australia and leave their homes behind.
Outlook for Domestic Violence Offenders
Australia’s new position against violent criminals isn’t a new concept. Many travelers who have international travel bans because of criminal history have watched their list of accepting countries shrink more and more every year. Just going on a cruise will require several phone calls to multiple country visa offices to figure out if one can leave the boat when arriving at a port of call. Every country has its policy when it comes to crime and domestic violence specifically.
Factors that foreign governments consider when allowing entry to an individual with a violent criminal history are:
- Number of offenses
- Nature of the offense
- When the crime was committed
- Time since completion of sentencing
- Reason for entering the country
Those hoping that the country they are visiting won’t have access to recent criminal records may be disappointed. Governments usually have a link to immigration databases in other countries. Lying or purposely omitting information about prior domestic violence convictions may find you denied entrance and purchasing a plane ticket home.
Travel Waivers to Avoid Domestic Abuse Bans
Sometimes you have a serious reason for traveling to another country. Maybe a relative died, or you have a short term job contract to fulfill. When this happens, some foreign visa offices have a travel waiver to allow you restricted entry. This isn’t a guaranteed request, and it’s important to speak with the country’s embassy or your attorney to learn more about this process. Every country has its own set of rules, so it’s vital to know if your domestic abuse charge qualifies for waiving.
Avoid a Domestic Violence Travel Ban
Before investing time and expectation into your upcoming cruise or family visit abroad, speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your domestic violence charges or conviction before you travel. The Umansky Law Firm understands that these types of charges or convictions shouldn’t necessarily bar you from freedom of travel. Let us put our over 100 years of practice to use and help you avoid a conviction. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation.