Can the validity period of an overseas police clearance certificate be extended?
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Can The Validity Period Of An Overseas Police Clearance Certificate Be Extended?

When applying for an Australian Visa, sometimes you need a little more time to pull together all of the supporting information you need to support your Australia Visa application.

If you needed to provide an Overseas Police check as part of your Australia Visa Application, you may be wondering if the validity period of an overseas police clearance certificate can be extended.

Can The Validity Period Of An Overseas Police Clearance Certificate Be Extended?

According to the “Penal checking Handbook” published by the Australian department of home affairs, there are circumstances in which the Validity period of an overseas police check can be extended.

From the handbook:

Onshore Australia Visa applicants/sponsors

Where a certificate has expired and the applicant has returned to the country that issued the certificate for more than two months in total (as a cumulative period) since the certificate expired, the applicant will need to provide a new certificate. The fact that the applicant would not meet the threshold of having lived for 12 months or more in the last 10 years in the country that issued the certificate, is irrelevant in this respect.

A new certificate must still be provided.

Example: a Japanese applicant applies for the third subsequent Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa in Australia and has resided 9.5 years out of the past 10 years in Australia. The applicant provided a Japanese penal certificate three years ago when applying for the previous visa, but has returned to Japan for 5 months since the validity of that certificate expired. The applicant will need to provide a new penal certificate from Japan.

The exception to this is for Permanent Partner visa applicants where a new certificate is required only where the applicant has returned to the country that issued the certificate for a cumulative period of 12 months or more since the grant of the temporary partner visa (subclasses 309 or 820). However, if there are character concerns, a new certificate must be requested, even where the period is less than two months.

Where a certificate has expired and the applicant has not returned to the country that issued the certificate, a new certificate is not required.

For example, offshore penal certificates and waivers for third countries obtained by TPV and SHEV holders as part of a previous TPV/SHEV application can be reused for a subsequent TPV/SHEV application, as long as the holder has not travelled back to that country for more than two months.

The time allowed on a visa for initial entry to Australia is tied to the 12-month validity of any penal or health checks. This is to ensure that the applicant enters Australia while the penal and health certificates are still valid. This 12 month period is set under the policy and is not a requirement under the Regulations. This period within which the visa holder must make initial entry to Australia is a condition of the visa. It is not a criterion for grant and must not be confused with the visa period as described in section 68 of the Migration Act.

Offshore Australia Visa applicants

The certificate can be extended by up to three months by the case officer if the application is close to approval and the delays have been caused by the Department. The same conditions apply as in ‘Can the validity period of a National Police Check be extended?’.

For overseas posts, the decision to extend the certificate should be made by an A-based staff member or in consultation with an A-based staff member. Where a certificate has expired and the applicant has not returned to the country that issued the certificate, a new certificate is not required.

There may be some circumstances where an ‘offshore’ applicant has been in Australia since providing police clearances and is required to be offshore for the grant of their subsequent visa. If the offshore penal clearances are older than 12 months, there may be no need to request new clearances unless the person has spent over two months in any country other than Australia since the issuance of the previous certificate.

Visa processing officers should ensure that they have regard to country information when deciding whether another certificate is required.

Onshore Candidate looking to extend the validity of a National Police clearance certificate?

Are you an onshore Australia Visa candidate looking to extend the validity period of a National police clearance certificate? Click here for details of the rules that apply to your case.

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Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts!

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