Completing AFP National Police Checks (NPC) for your 820/801 Australian Partner Visa
To satisfy character requirements of the 820/801 Partner Visa for permanent residency in Australia (and sponsorship of a partner to migrate), it is necessary to complete police checks in every country you’ve lived for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. For most onshore applicants (and definitely their sponsors), this will include Australia. Thankfully, the process of applying for an Australian Federal Police National Police Check is incredibly simple, quick, and inexpensive! This post will walk you through the entire process, including when to apply for your AFP police checks, completing the online application, and what to expect after submission.
Need to apply for an FBI police check, too? FBI POLICE CHECKS FOR AMERICANS APPLYING FOR THE 820/801 AUSTRALIAN PARTNER VISA
Read my whole series on applying for the 820/801 Australian Partner Visa for more information about preparing your evidence, lodging your application, and the next steps. If you’re just beginning, start with this post to get an overview (and to read about our story). And, as always, please remember that I am not a migration agent or affiliated with Home Affairs in any way, so all the information provided in these posts and in the comments below is based entirely on my own experience and my own understanding of the application process.
When to apply for your AFP police check
Some people choose to have their AFP National Police Checks completed at the time of initially submitting the online 820/801 Partner Visa application. This is referred to as “front loading” or having a “decision-ready application”, meaning the CO could in theory pick up your application and approve it without asking for any additional documentation. It used to be a great way to speed up the visa grant process, but seems to have fallen out of fashion as wait times have gotten longer and longer.
Given that police and medical checks are only valid for one year and visa processing times often extend far beyond this (as high as 2 years for the grant of the 820 Temporary Partner Visa), many applicants choose to wait for the CO to request the checks rather than risking expiration (and having to re-do the checks).
The third, and probably safest, option is to fall somewhere in the middle of these two strategies: wait ~6 months after submitting your application, when there is a reasonable chance of having the visa granted within the next year, and then submit your police checks. This avoids waiting for a CO to request the police checks, but also (hopefully) prevents you from doing the checks twice if they expire.
Note: Both the applicant and the sponsor should complete this police check!
Submitting your application for an AFP police check
Compared to other steps of the immigration process, completing an AFP National Police Check is alarmingly simple. To get started, click this link to navigate to the National Police Check application page, and have your ID ready (your passport and an Australian driver’s licence are enough).
- Select which ID documents you are going to provide from the list provided, ensuring your selections add up to greater than 100 points (list of accepted Primary ID Documents pictured above)
- Enter your full name, DOB, email
- Select purpose: 33- Immigration/Citizenship (pictured below)
- Provide consent
- Upload your chosen ID as JPEG, PDF, or TIF only (under 4MB)
- Check all of the files before ticking the box and continuing
- Confirm your full name, country of birth, daytime contact number, Aus driver licence number, and any other names (e.g. maiden)
- Do you live in Australia? Provide residential address and address start date
- Provide a history of every address you’ve lived at
- Confirm your application details are correct
- Pay the $42 AFP National Police Check application fee and you’re done!
After completing the AFP National Police Check
After submitting and paying for your application for a National Police Check, all that’s left to do is wait— and thankfully not long at all! My partner and I got our AFP checks back in the mail within 2 weeks.
You can then scan these documents and upload them to your application under the appropriate section: Character, Evidence of.
Need to complete FBI police checks?
Obviously I can’t offer advice on completing police checks for countries other than those I’ve actually completed myself (and there are vastly different processes and regulations governing these checks around the world), but for any fellow American applicants or those who have lived in America for longer than 12 months, I wrote a comprehensive post about getting your FBI checks done while in Australia. Check it out, since the process is a fair bit more complicated than the AFP checks!
I hope this information has been helpful and I wish you so much luck on your Australian Partner Visa journey! Feel free to ask any questions below and I will do my very best to answer them.
* I am not a migration agent or affiliated with Home Affairs in any way, so all the information provided in these posts and in the comments below is based entirely on my own experience and my own understanding of the application process.
If you found this post helpful and want to contribute to some of the costs associated with running the blog, I would be infinitely grateful!
You can use the PayPal button below to donate whatever you feel this information is worth. If you aren’t able, don’t worry— I will always keep my posts free and accessible for everyone!
UPDATE: A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who’s commented to let me know that you found these posts helpful— I can’t tell you how much it means to me to read your success stories! I worked incredibly hard to compile all of this information (while getting my PhD & teaching), but it’s genuinely been worth it to make even a small difference for my fellow immigrants.
More importantly, though, THANK YOU to everyone who has shared their own experience or answered questions for other readers in the comments below! We are building a wonderful & supportive community of Partner Visa applicants here, and every comment and question is a resource for others.
If you felt like these posts helped with your application, I’d encourage you to come back after your visa is granted (or even after various milestones) and let us all know what happened— it might mean the world to someone else struggling with this process! Best wishes to you all xx bb
Thanks very much for this amazing blog, it helped me a lot to get my 820!
now my 2 years passed and I have submitted my 801 and I am on the process of uploading the attachments.
I was wondering if my sponsor has to get a Police check for 801 again?
We already uploaded mine for 801.
again appreciate your help
Congratulations!! So close to the finish line 🙂
Since my 820 and 801 were granted simultaneously, I never had to complete this step and can’t answer conclusively– perhaps another reader can chime in?
Best of luck!
No worries Brooke.
We got 801 Oct 21. We married last Sunday so all is well!!!
I submitted 820 partner visa application on July 29,2021, then immigration department asked me and my partner to have Australian police check certification on October 12,2021, I submitted both police check certification on October 27,2021, so far I have not received any answer from immigration department, could you please advise, how long will take my 820 visa to be approved after submitting my police check certification?
Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to say. Since the police check is only valid for 12 months, it’s likely to be within that period– but it could still be 1 week or 51 weeks of waiting.
Let us know when your visa is granted, best of luck!
I found out through a Migration lawyer that they will use them for up to 18 months, happened with me. GOod luck
Thanks for sharing! I think there is a little leeway with many of these official time limits– my health check was older than 12mo when my visa was approved! Nice to know that also applies for the police check, as well.
Most likely given its been 2 years, it will be completed very soon , most likely approved if everything else is genuine & in good order….that what happend for us, good luck
After 2 years of waiting I have finally heard something back. They have requested a police check. Would this suggest that once I have submitted this, a decisión on my visa will be close?
It’s very likely! At the very least, it means they’ve actually reviewed some component of your application, which is a good sign– fingers crossed!
Can i upload receipt of Police check if i waited too long for the result
Yes, there is an option to upload “proof of intention to obtain” the police check, which is a good placeholder while you await the final check– thankfully, though, it does come through fairly quickly!
Best of luck,
Hi Brooke, sorry, I’m wondering is there any option to pay the partner visa by 2 instalments? my partner and I are struggling to get the whole amount.
Not as far as I know, but I’d recommend calling Home Affairs to ask!
Hi Brooke –
Some questions on this form, it seems it’s been changed since you went through this process. #33 is no longer an option, only “overseas visa” so not sure what to put for purpose. Also, it wants you to list all addressed you’ve lived at for the last 5 years, but only seems to want those to be Australian. Is this only the Australian addresses you’ve lived at?
Thanks for the update, it’s certainly possible that this has changed since I did it– yes, I’d imagine ‘overseas visa’ is the best option.
As for the addresses, I had only lived in Aus the last 8 years so I didn’t have the same issue. Is there no way to provide an overseas address too??
thanks for your reply. Yeah sounds correct ,will do today
Take care! Regards
Hope you are enjoying your residency!
One question that just popped up as I viewed the immi website, Does my Brazilian partner need an AFP police check since she has been living in Australia on her bridging visa for more that 12 months? I think I overlooked this one
Yes, sounds like she will definitely need an AFP check! Thankfully, it’s super easy, so you guys should be able to get it done without any stress.
Best of luck on the application!
This blog is amazing and it helped me calm down last night when I found it! A quick question for you, on the immi website it says under the section about police checks “You must also provide written consent for us to disclose any convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant”. How do I go about doing that? Do I need to write a letter and attach it?
Also you have added a note to this section of the blog saying “Note: Both the applicant and the sponsor should complete this police check!”. Are you saying my partner should do an AFB check too? She’s only been to Australia for 1 month so far.
I believe the “written consent” they are referring to is part of the police check. I did not write any separate letter or statement for this.
If the applicant has only been in Aus for 1 month, then no, I do not think she needs to complete the check. My understanding is that it’s only for those who’ve lived here longer than 12 months. She will, however, need to submit a police check from wherever she HAS been living– any country longer than 12m months.
Hope that helps!
Thank you Brooke!! I have been putting the police check part off and didn’t know what I needed to do and then today I thought, I bet Brooke Around Town knows – and sure enough!
I have commented on your evidence post before, but thank you again so much for putting all this together. Could not have done it without your help!
AH, so glad I could help, Gabriella! Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of the application 🙂
Best of luck with your application!
Thank you for taking the time to document your whole process! I also felt rewarded reading that you finally received your PR. Congratulations!
I submitted my application on November 2019 and got the medical request last June 2020. Unfortunately, the medical centres were completely booked that the next available slot was on September! Good thing time seems to just fly these days.
Would you know how long after the application do they normally ask for police checks? My partner included one on our application and I recently got one as a work requirement. Would we still need to provide these again?
Thank you again!
Thank you so much for the thoughtful message 🙂
I submitted my police checks on my own accord after about 7 months, so I’m not sure at what point they’d specifically request them– if you have them, submit them now! They are valid for 12 months, so there’s an outside chance you’d have to resubmit depending on when exactly you got them, but it might also save time on your visa processing if the CO knows you have a complete application.
Best of luck!
Your blog is amazing source for whom applying the Australian partner visa (like me :D). It is super details 🙂 I have a question (bit silly, but just want to clarify before doing it), with the purpose, we choose #33 for applicant and sponsor as well? Or choose another purpose # for sponsor? Thank you so much.
brooke brisbineAngela Jovic
I think my partner (the sponsor) also chose #33! I don’t think there was another option that made sense, and technically it is being supplied to the Department of Immigration for Immigration purposes (i.e. my immigration!).
Hope that helps 🙂
Mine look a bit different, do you mind if we share private messages? Do you use WhatsApp or some kind?
Hi Vera, send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll see if I can help!
Oh wow you’re fabulously quick!! 🤗
Character evidence tab? Where is that? I can see character assessment form 80 but it didn’t give the option for AFP. Am I missing something?
It’s the first choice under the “Character, Evidence of” tab, which says “Australian Federal Police Clearance”. I’ve just added a screenshot to the post to clarify 🙂
Hi Brooke, my name is Vera. I just got my AFP, I’m trying to find the tab to upload the AFP onto immi account- is it because this is and additional details the immi requested? Can you please advice which tab should I go to to upload the AUSTRALIAN Federal Police clearance.
Many thanks 🙏🏻
I realise I should have put this in the original post, so I’ve now updated it: You can then scan these documents and upload them to your application under the appropriate section: Character, Evidence of.
Hope that helps 🙂
Thank you very much for creating this blog and the detailed break down of what the process entails.
My partner and I were just wondering, do we both sponsor and applicant have to submit police checks or is it only the application?
Thanks so much!
brooke brisbineGiulia Aliverti
Hi Giulia, so happy to hear that the blog has been helpful 🙂
It is my understanding that both need to submit a police check!
Thanks for this blog, it has been a great resource.
We are wondering when the much anticipated FBI check walk-through will be posted, as it’s next on our to do list!
Ahh Marcus, thank you for keeping on me about this!
I wrote most of the post on doing the online “application”, paying the fee, and getting the fingerprint form, but have yet to actually GET my own fingerprints done, so I’ve held off on posting. Perhaps I will just put it up anyway and update it after I get my prints taken..
Check back tomorrow, I’ll do it tonight 🙂
Thank you for useful advice. I just got what to do after reading it. so clear, Cheers!
Hi Sohrab, glad to hear it was helpful! Best of luck with everything.
Hi Brooke! Your posts have been super helpful for me during this process. Whenever I have a question I can almost always find the answer on your page so thank you!! Just curious, when will you be posting on how to complete the FBI Police Checks??
brooke brisbineTaylor Wynne
Hi Taylor, thanks for your comment! I am hoping to get that post done soon, I’ve just been buried under other travel posts. Stay tuned, it’s definitely coming!