Police Check for New Arrivals – We are often asked “Can I get a Police Check What if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?
Yes. The process of applying for an NPC online is broadly the same no matter how long you have lived in or outside of Australia.
The key difference when applying for your national police check (also known as a national criminal history check) is that you have to click on the “Country” drop-down box when adding an international address in the relevant part of the form. From there, simply select the correct country and fill in the address.
The same applies if you are completing your online application while you are either currently living outside of Australia or intending to live overseas in the future. All you have to do is include your overseas address and any other addresses you have lived at in the past five years.
Prior to and following that step, you can complete the form as normal. However, if you run into any problems when attempting to enter an international address or you find yourself unable to move on with the rest of the form, contact us. We’ll be happy to provide you with the assistance you need to complete the process smoothly.
Do I Need to Provide Additional Documentation as Part of My National Police Check Application if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?
While you do need to provide identifying documentation as part of your national police check application, you will not have to submit any additional documents if your five years of address history includes one or more international addresses. The only caveats are if you do not have any ID documents that have been issued by the Australian government.
For an national criminal history check application, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission stipulates that you must submit four documents, including one commencement document. This commencement document, whether it be an Australian birth certificate, an Australian visa, or an ImmiCard, must have been issued by the Australian government.
It doesn’t matter if you currently live in, say, New South Wales and are applying for a police check NSW specifically. If you do not have any documentation that proves you have the right to live in that region or elsewhere in Australia, then you will not be able to proceed with your NPC application until you have acquired some.
What Other Documents Do I Need for My National Police Check?
Applicants will need to provide four documents from an extensive list that has been approved by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. These include, as mentioned above, one commencement document, also known as a commencement of identity document.
You will also need to provide one primary document. Your primary document can either be an Australian driver’s licence, an Australian marriage certificate, a passport, a proof of age or photo identity card, a firearms licence, or a student identification card.
Finally, you should upload two secondary documents, choosing from a selection that includes Medicare cards, certified academic transcripts, Australian utility bills, and more. Please click here for more information and a full list of ID documents you will be expected to provide and details of how to upload them.
Why do I need to provide my address history in my police check application?
The information retrieved by the relevant authorities following your application online must be entirely accurate. As such, there are strict guidelines in place to ensure that all police checks are carried out for the correct person. These guidelines include the requirement for applicants to provide five years of address history, as a means of verifying their identity.
With five years of your address history, it will be far easier to locate you on the appropriate national crime databases. Particularly if you have a common name, additional information such as your previous addresses, whether they be here in Australia or overseas, will help to ensure that your criminal history is checked rather than anyone else’s.
Further, you will also need to provide proof of address if you want to get the correct certificate for your region. So, for those whose current address is in, for example, West Australia, their applications may have to be for police checks in West Australia specifically.
What Other Personal Information Do I Need to Provide in My NPC Application?
It will also be necessary for you to provide some personal information as part of your NPC application process. So, in addition to five years of address history, you must submit such details as:
- Your legal names and previous names, plus an additional document providing evidence of any name change.
- Your date and place of birth.
- Information about your gender.
This information will be used to verify your identity and locate you in national crime databases. So, accuracy is crucial. You should take great care to avoid even minor differences when giving your personal information, including inconsistent spacing and misspellings. Unfortunately, you may not receive police clearance if the information provided is incorrect.
If we have reason to believe that you have supplied incorrect information, we will contact you as soon as possible. We may be able to adjust your application accordingly if, for example, you have misspelled your address or incorrectly spaced your name. However, keep in mind that we also reserve the right to cancel your application if we are not satisfied with the details provided.
Will My Online Police Check Application Take Longer to Process if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?
It could potentially take longer than the standard one hour to receive your result if you have lived in Australia for less than five years. As mentioned above, this has to do with the fact that additional, international organisations may have to be reached to help verify the address information provided in your application.
There are other reasons that your criminal record check may be delayed. For one thing, around 30% of all applications are selected for manual review by the National Police Checking System. This could delay the process by up to 15 business days, or longer in some exceptional cases. Other reasons include:
- If you have ever been to court or charged with an offence.
- If you have a common name or a name that matches with a person of interest in police databases.
- If any of your police information is old and requires manual collection.
- If your records are incomplete or inaccurate.
Regardless, the vast majority of applications (around 70%) are processed in1 hour. If you are concerned that you have not yet received your application result, you can contact us regarding the progress of your police check at any time.