Upcoming Changes to the Character Test

Changes to the Character tests create stricter and more specific definitions to catch more people who will not meet the character test. Those that do not meet the character test may be refused a visa or have their visas cancelled.


 In late 2018, there were news publication that the current Character test would be strengthened.

Today, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee released its report and recommendations on whether to pass the bill.

Unsurprisingly, the committee recommended that the Bill be passed.

What Are the Character Test Changes That Will Be Made?


The Character test will be significantly tightened and will be made harder to pass. This is a reflection of Australia’s attitude in only allowing those with good character to migrate to Australia and to protect the Australian community from harm and violence.


  • The Migration Act will be amended to provide a specific ground for refusal or cancellation if a person has been convicted of offences involving violence such as:

  • Murder

  • Manslaughter

  • Kidnapping

  • Assault

  • Aggravated burglary

  • Threat of Violence

  • Sexual assault

  • Non-consensual act of indecency

  • Breach of Apprehended Violence Order (or similar0

  • Use or possess a weapon

See the bill to find out more.  


What Does This Mean?


The support from the Committee suggests that this Bill will most likely be passed Parliament. Once this is enacted, it will affect all visa applicants and visa holders. That is, even if you were granted with a visa despite the above offences, your visa may still be liable for cancellation. However, we do note that this is subject to confirmation once the Act is in effect.


If you have been convicted or may be convicted for an offence involving violence, it is best to seek advice from a professional now.


How Can We Help


At Agape Henry Crux, our Immigration Lawyers are well trained to handle highly complex matters so book one of our lawyers to seek professional advice now by calling (02)-7200 2700 or email us to book in a time at info@ahclawyers.com.