Character References


Having multiple character references from non-family members is an essential element of any submissions. It is also essential that such persons giving the reference be fully aware of the nature of the offences. The best way to achieve this is to supply the person giving the reference with a full transcript of the criminal record, the sentencing remarks by the judge and if it is an AAT review, the full reasons for decision of the visa refusal or cancellation.  The person giving the written reference must refer to the offence and stating he or she is fully aware of the circumstances of the offences and how the person was aware (ie being supplied with various documents). The reference has to state how it is that the opinion is reached that the person has reformed. The reference must state how long the referee has known the person, the quality of the contact and in what capacity the person had the contact.

Obviously persons holding positions of authority carry more weight but references from ‘ordinary’ people, members of the community also carry weight. References from employers would be important. Some references from friends are also useful.

There is no formula for these references, each must be individually crafted by the referee based on his or her personal experience with the person concerned.

If the person served a term in prison some reference of support from the prison authority would be useful.

It would be prudent to do a Freedom of Information search of the prison records to extract any useful material.

Referees need to be aware that it may be necessary to call such persons as witnesses either in person or by telephone or video link.