As a Kiwi, you’re able to come to Australia, live and work for an indefinite period of time. However, you are still technically a ‘temporary resident’ on a visa so you have to continue to meet the set ‘character’ test, or face having your visa cancelled.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has been cracking down on New Zealanders who have been involved in criminal activities that mean that they no longer meet the ‘character’ requirements. In the last 3 years, nearly 350 Kiwi’s have had their visas cancelled and have had to leave Australia, with this number continuing to rise.
If you’ve been convicted of a criminal offence that means you do not meet character requirements, the Department of Immigration may contact you by email or post and provide a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your visa. This NOICC will outline:
- That DIAC is considering cancelling your visa on character grounds;
- What information has been considered so far in issuing the NOICC;
- An invitation to respond to the Notice – include contact details; and
- A time limit within which you have to respond (generally 28 days).
The Department will generally also provide you with a copy of the documents they have considered that are relevant to your character – including for example sentencing transcripts or a copy of your police record.
This Notice gives you the opportunity to contact the Department and outline why you should be allowed to remain in Australia. You may want to show:
- That you’re a contributing member of the Australian community and have been for a long time;
- That you have strong family connections in Australia; and
- You have actively tried to rehabilitate yourself since your offence.
You should also aim to provide as much supporting evidence of the above as possible.
It is important that you take the NOICC seriously – if the Department of Immigration decides to cancel your visa, you will only be granted 28 days after which you will be required to leave Australia. Otherwise, you will need to lodge an application for appeal by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – which can be a lengthy and expensive process.
Our Migration Team has in the last year received an increasing number of NOICC’s by New Zealanders, and has successfully assisted a large number of those applicants in responding to their NOICC’s for a broad range of criminal offences. If you’d like our assistance in responding to your Notice, please contact our migration team as soon as possible.