Criminal justice certificates and visas

If a witness or person, who is charged with an offence is needed for the criminal justice process, is not an Australian citizen or residence and does not have a valid visa, the CDPP will consider applying for a criminal justice certificate which will allow the person to enter (a criminal justice entry certificate) or remain in Australia (a criminal justice stay certificate).

If a criminal justice certificate is issued, the Department of Home Affairs will consider whether or not to grant a criminal justice visa. A criminal justice visa allows the person to be in the community and out of immigration detention. If the Department of Home Affairs does not grant the person a visa, then the person may be taken into immigration detention.

What the criminal justice visa entitles you to do while in Australia

A person on a criminal justice entry certificate and visa is not entitled to work while in Australia.

A person on a criminal justice stay certificate and visa is entitled to work while in Australia.

Holders of criminal justice visas are not entitled to Medicare.  

Subsistence and medical payments

If a witness or defendant on a criminal justice visa is without means of support, the CDPP will pay the reasonable costs of supporting a person while they are in Australia. The CDPP will also pay the reasonable costs of managing a medical or dental condition. These payments are not available if the person is in custody.

To apply for these payments the criminal justice visa holder will need to provide the CDPP with a statutory declaration setting out:

  • that they are without means of support
  • their financial and domestic circumstances – including whether they have any dependents  
  • all sources of income
  • all assets (whether in Australia or overseas)
  • any additional means of financial support, including by a partner or family member
  • where claims for medical or dental expenses are made, the medical or dental condition involved and why these treatments were reasonably necessary for managing the condition, and;
  • any other relevant information.

The statutory declaration must also include an undertaking that the applicant for the payments will notify the CDPP immediately when their financial or domestic circumstances change, including if they commence paid work.

More information about the assistance the CDPP gives to witnesses can be found on the CDPP Victims and Witnesses site.

When the criminal justice visa ceases

A criminal justice certificate and visa will be cancelled when the holder is no longer required to be in Australia for the criminal justice process.