Detail Question Of The Week

Notice of intention to consider refusal under s501(1) of the Migration Act

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Question asked

My boyfriend, who is an American citizen, has applied for a Visitor Visa (subclass 600) and he has just received a Notice of intention to consider refusal under s501(1) of the Migration Act because he may not pass the character test. He has 3 DUIs, the first was when he was 18 and the last was 13 years ago. The total jail time for all 3 DUIs is 49 days. He also has an assault charge on his record from 13 years ago however this was relatively minor as a physical assault didn't actually take place, it was 'fear of bodily harm' and he received one night in jail and a fine.

He has certainly reformed greatly over the past 13 years and we want to ensure we can demonstrate this. I understand that as part of the response to the Notice we're able to provide letters of support from family and friends. So my question is how can we make these letters as effective as possible? For example - Is there a particular template we should follow/specific information to include? Is it better if they're written by Australian citizens?

Having my boyfriend visit Australia and meet my family is so important to us and to my family. I thank you very much for your time.


Answer provided by our agents

Dear N.

When you receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal (NOICC) from DIBP, it is an opportunity for the applicant to explain their side of story and while it must be presented in a very careful manner there is no certain format to do so. Also note that the submission must be prepared and submitted by the applicant, however family and friends can provide supporting statements but those are secondary to the information submitted by the applicant explaining the events in question.

The best way to compile the information is in a simple letter format using simple words in your own language and expression.

Thank you for uploading the Notice from DIBP to your question. This is indeed helpful.

From the information provided, it seems that the reason to consider refusal is on the grounds of previous offenses and due to the risk of re-offending while in Australia.

To address this you need to prepare explanation based on the following points.

1. Substantial criminal record or not? Substantial criminal record is defined where a person has been sentenced to 12 months or more in the past at one or more occasions collectively; or for 2 or more years on separate occasions.

2. Circumstances at the time of offense, applicant's age, time passed since the event, any issues of mental health, addiction, family circumstances and history including relationship issues and applicant's background and education.

3. Explain the substantial time that has passed since those events and how the applicant has developed as a sincere and responsible citizen. Emphasize on the fact that he is now a normal human being who lead a normal life and has had his share of troubles and made mistakes in the past which he regrets and understand were wrong.

4. You can also explain how you have contributed to the community and fulfilled your duties as a responsible citizen.

5. To address the concern of re-offending you can include information such as:
- Evidence of any drug and alcohol courses, anger management courses, or education you have done since your last offense.
- Whether a significant period of time has passed since your last offense and you have been living in the community during that time.
- That you have never breached a court order (such as bail, parole or a bond), or that your last breach was a long time ago.
- That you have never breached correctional centre rules, or that your last breach was a long time ago.
- Anything positive that a judge or magistrate or other professional (such as a psychologist or parole officer) has written about your rehabilitation.
- Information about people in the community who can support you and help you avoid any further offending, explaining who they are, how you know them, and how they will help you.
- Examples of ways that you have helped your community, including your friends, family, church, sports club, or other people in the community (for example, volunteer work, coaching a sports team, caring for someone who needed help).

In addition to this you can provide secondary information to support your claims which may include:
1. Family ties to Australia
2. Your age and health
3. Links to your country of origin
4. Hardship to you or your family
5. Your level of education
6. Previous visits to Australia and visa compliance
7. Whether you will have any support in your country of origin from family or friends
8. Whether you will have access to social security or health care or education
9. Whether you have a wife, husband or de facto or girlfriend/boyfriend in Australia, including whether he or she is an Australian citizen

While compiling the information and writing the response, keep in mind the key points are that you have to write a simple letter in your own words explaining the circumstances surrounding the events in question, how the applicant has improved since those events, and why there is no risk of re-offending.

Supporting letters from family and friends will also be of similar nature written in their own words from their perspective.

I hope this information will give you enough idea of how to handle this.

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