Saturday, 15 August 2015

AFP Police Checks for Citizenship or Immigration Purposes

For persons requiring a police check in support of an immigration, citizenship, or visa application with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, you will need to obtain an police check issued by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). This is also referred to as an "AFP police check".

The DIBP requires persons to be of "good character" and will determine or make the assessment of your character based on the outcomes of your national police history check or police check. Is this a fair consideration by the DIBP? It of course depends in part on what you consider fair.

For those persons applying for citizenship or seeking to enter Australia on a visa, many persons already living in Australia would think that this is a fair assessment criteria. In law abiding countries, where persons paying their taxes expect their monies provided to their government to spent on services that are critical to the running of the society, it is fair to expect that the recipients of those services are themselves worthy. If criminals or persons who in the past have broken laws are recipients of the benefits of those in society who work hard to provide for their families and also pay taxes, then justice is due.

Likewise, for those persons who pay their fair share of taxes, it is not unreasonable for them to expect the government to spend their hard earned dollars wisely.

On the contrary, if the law abiding citizens did not pay taxes, then how could government expect to run? Lawlessness and chaos would reign and society would eventually fail.

So what does this have to do with AFP Police Checks? The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) needs to have a single standard by which they can assess applications for entry into Australia. This standard, they state, is that applicants will be judged and must be "of good character". The DIBP uses the results of police checks to make this determination.

Because privacy laws vary from each in Australia, some information may or may not appear for the same applicant depending on which state their application is lodged. As a result, police checks for the DIBP must be issued by the Australian Federal Police. These "AFP Police Checks" are thus a single source of truth by which all applicants for immigration or citizenship are assessed.

So is this a fair assessment? Given that all applicants are assessed by a similar process, using a single standard, then one MUST assume that the assessment is fair.