I doubt many of you will have experience with this but if i have a criminal record for drugs in Australia (I am an Australian citizen) will I have any problem working in Europe. I am also an Irish citizen (born in Ireland) with an Irish passport.

Once I leave Australia is there any reason for the Irish government to tell other governments about my past in Australia? I would travel on my irish passport and not Aussie one.

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    Where in Europe do you want to go? Denmark? Ukraine? Iceland? Do you want to go anywhere else, like the USA? What was your exact conviction? Was it for possession, dealing, manufacture, or trafficking? Apr 14, 2018 at 10:54
  • @Shapebuster How long ago was the conviction and what is your line of work? Many employers routinely ask prospective employees to disclose criminal convictions, and separate disclosure checks may be legally required for specific jobs, such as working with children or vulnerable adults.
    – Traveller
    Apr 14, 2018 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


As an Irish citizen, your right to live in the EU/EEA under DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC can only be denied for very serious, very specific suspicions that you are a present danger to public order and safety. A past criminal record for drugs won't be nearly enough unless there is more in your record we don't know.

Your right to work may be limited where it comes to jobs that require a background check or security clearance. An employer may not want to hire you and hand you the keys to the cash register. We can't answer that question, but any restrictions for you would be the same as for citizens with a similar record.

For that, ask on Expatriates Stack Exchange or possibly on Workplace. When it comes to information exchange, remember that lying on an employment form can be reason for firing if it comes out years later. If the employer is allowed to ask, you are required to answer truthfully.

  • A reference to the freedom of movement directive or an official page explaining its provisions would improve this answer.
    – phoog
    Apr 14, 2018 at 16:06
  • @phoog, added. I'm not sure the legal text will help the OP,
    – o.m.
    Apr 14, 2018 at 18:45
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    I made the suggestion because the OP seems to be unaware of the right of free movement, and might want to learn more about it.
    – phoog
    Apr 14, 2018 at 21:22

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