If someone were to have a clean record from a their native country and country of origin, but have a criminal record in an outside country, would that affect applying for work visas in countries like NZ, USA, Canada, etc.?

As I understand, some countries ask for documentation from all countries the applicant has been living in over a period of some years. Does anyone know which ones ask for this confirmation?

  • A. Native country (clean record)
  • B. Foreign country (criminal record)
  • C. Desired work destination (not A or B)
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    Even if you identify countries A, B, and C, this question is not answerable with certainty. Consider: Many countries share info. Suppose, however, that your countries A, B, and C do not share. Country C, however, might have an info-sharing agreement with country X, and country X might have info-sharing agreements with A and B. Thus, even though A, B, and C don't share, C may have information originally created in or discovered by A or B, which info X gave to C. There are an infinity of sources and relationships, limited only by a country's politics, finances, and desire to investigate. Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 21:25
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    @DavidSupportsMonica the question seems to be about what they ask for explicitly.
    – Tomas By
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 22:28
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    Yes, the OP mentioned work visas in NZ, the US, and Canada. But the OP used the word "like," which indicates he's interested in other countries as well. What about countries that are not NZ, the US, or Canada? And even if we know the ID of every possible Country C, it's still a guess what that country knows. The general rule — complete the visa application and tell the truth — remains the correct response. Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 23:34
  • @DavidSupportsMonica ... and that's precisely what the question is about: what do you need to put on this visa application, i.e. what is being asked explicitely. Not all countries require the same info. If I want to complete the visa application truthfully and comprehensively, where will I need to disclose the criminal record in country C and where will that not be necessary. You're the only one bringing up information sharing or what the country might know through other channels. That's simply not what the question is about so whether this is answerable or not is completely irrelevant.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 6:19
  • @Relaxed Well...you're right. I leaped to a different and more cynical level. If that's what the OP wants to know, however, it should have been asked: what information about prior criminal convictions is asked, if at all, when applying for a work permit in NZ, US, and Canada? Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Not just for work visas, many countries even ask for a clean criminal record for student visas. Most of the times, it's when you have lived in the third country for more than six months. If you have committed a crime during that time, and it's on your record, that can affect your application.

However, just because your criminal record is not clean, it doesn't mean that you can't get a visa. It depends a lot on the type of crime, and whether or not you can convince the diplomatic official.

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