Has a trip to Australia been on your mind lately? Can you travel to Australia with a felony conviction and if so, how do you go about it?
In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about traveling to Australia with a criminal record. You’ll see how to arrange a trip to Australia with a felony on your criminal record and what documentation is involved in such a process.
Can you visit Australia with a criminal record?
A US citizen with a criminal record can travel to Australia. You can apply online for documentation enabling you to visit their country. All you need to do is go to the Australia Online Visas website and click the big, green button to begin the application.
You can achieve that by filling out one of the following:
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa;
- eVisitor visa.
Successfully applying for one of them will grant a US citizen permission to cross the border of Australia.
These documents will involve 2 (two) sections that require detailed information about:
- character detail questions (have you ever been charged with a crime that awaits legal action, for example);
- the declaration section.
The declaration part of the application will include queries, such as:
- Were you accused of any criminal activity that resulted in a jail sentence of over 1 (one) year?
- Have you been charged or convicted of domestic abuse?
- Have you ever been the subject of family abuse?
Only by completing the declaration part can you finally be eligible for an ETA visa and travel to Australia with a felony.
An applicant for either the Australian ETA or the eVisitor visa must answer all the questions truthfully. Do not omit anything about your previous criminal convictions. The more cooperative and honest you are, the higher your chances of acquiring sufficient documentation.
A US felon going to Australia – ETA visa
An ETA visa is essentially a travel document that will enable its holder to freely travel to and from Australia for a variety of purposes:
- visiting loved ones
- short-term study
- volunteer work.
You cannot, however, study or take part in training for longer than 3 (three) months with this visa. What’s more, while volunteer work is allowed, paid work while using an ETA visa is prohibited for felons.
You can begin the application process on the official Australian Online Visa website and click on “Apply for an ETA.” Once you’re in, you’ll have to input personal information and your travel details in an online questionnaire.
You will receive a decision regarding the crucial document within 2 (two) working days via email.
A US felon going to Australia – eVisitor visa
Another document that someone with a criminal conviction can get is an eVisitor visa, valid for 1 (one) year. It is an electronic travel document, just like the previous one, requestable through the same means as an ETA visa.
The eVisitor applies to the same purposes of your visit to Australia as an ETA visa, meaning, for example, tourism or volunteer work.
A felon wishing to apply for this type of visa must visit the Australian Online Visa website to complete the questionnaire.
Once they complete and receive the paper, a US felon is officially free to enter Australia.
Can you go to Australia with a felony – denial of entry
That being said, there are instances when your criminal history will prove too serious to be allowed into the country. If you’ve committed severe crimes in the past, successfully applying for visas will be impossible.
Such serious crimes involve any infringement that resulted in a prison sentence longer than 1 (one) year.
Moreover, any risk of crimes deemed possible by the border control agent will be enough to dismiss your entry. The risks include:
- engaging in criminal activities;
- posing danger to the local community;
- inciting aggression towards a segment of the Australian community;
- harassment of Australian citizens.
Offenses you committed even 10 (ten) years ago will be deemed relevant when applying for a visa.
You might also fail to pass a character evaluation test when applying for documents needed to travel to Australia. It may result from:
- a severe criminal record;
- escaping detention;
- being a member of an organization that’s deemed dangerous by the Australian Minister;
- being a suspect of, for instance, genocidal, smuggling, slavery, or war crimes;
- failing to present yourself as a non-risk guest (indicating that you’re more likely to engage in criminal activity);
- having been convicted of sexual offenses involving minors;
- having been convicted of domestic violence;
- being subject to an Interpol notice.
The decision on whether the Australian authorities approve of the application will arrive within 48 hours.
Passport Photo Online – a dependable photo app
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Can you travel to Australia with a felony – summary
The bottom line is that a US felon can travel to Australia if they prepare accordingly. Your criminal history is up for a checkup during the application process. Either an ETA or eTraveler visa will do.
A felon will need to truthfully fill out either one of those forms and wait 2 (two) days for the final decision.
However, there are still instances involving severe crimes that will always result in denial of entry. Having served a sentence longer than 1 (one) year or appearing to be an extreme security risk by the border security employees will disable a felon from entering Australia.
Traveling to Australia with a felony – FAQ
Here you’ll find the most common queries and answers about travel restrictions for felons wishing to visit Australia.
Does Australia allow convicted felons to visit?
Yes, you can visit Australia even as a convicted felon. If you haven’t served at least 1 (year) in prison, and aren’t deemed a security threat by the Australian officials, you’re halfway there. You just need to apply for either an eTraveler visa or an ETA visa.
Can you go on holiday to Australia with a criminal record?
Yes, you certainly can, provided you meet the requirements. You need to have never served a sentence longer than 1 (one) year and not be considered a threat to Australian society by the border security services. You also need to apply for a visa, namely either an ETA or eTraveler visa.
Graduated from the University of Warsaw, Michał, is a biometric photography expert with an undying thirst for adventure and a writer at Passport-Photo.Online. A self-proclaimed book and movie critic as well, he’s always eager to visit to the most underrated or less popular travel destinations.