Public Interest Criterion 4020

About Public Interest Criterion 4020 (PIC 4020)

PIC 4020 is a policy criterion in Australian immigration law that addresses issues of fraud, false or misleading information, and bogus documents in visa applications. Its primary purpose is to maintain the integrity of the Australian immigration system. Under PIC 4020, a visa application can be refused or a granted visa can be canceled if the applicant provides incorrect information or deceptive documents. This policy applies not only to the main applicant but also to family members listed in the application. If the visa application is refused due to not meeting PIC 4020 requirements, the applicant will face either a three (3) year non-grant period or a ten (10) year non-grant period for any future visa applications.

Visas Affected by PIC 4020

To comply with PIC 4020, the following visa categories in Australia must be considered:

  • Skilled Migration Visas
  • Business Visas
  • Student Visas
  • Family Sponsor Visas
  • Temporary Visas
  • Bridge Visas

Non-grant Period

Ten(10) years 
If the applicant or a member of their family unit has a visa application refused because of identity verification failure, a visa with PIC 4020 criteria may not be granted for ten years.

Three(3) years
If the applicant or a member of their family unit has a visa application refused due to providing bogus documents or false and misleading information, a visa with PIC 4020 criteria may not be granted for three years.

What does BOGUS DOCUMENTS means

Bogus documents in Australian visa applications (PIC 4020) are:

  1. False Representation:
    Documents claiming to be issued for a person when they weren’t.
  2. Counterfeit or Altered:
    Fake or unauthorized alterations.
  3. Obtained by Deception:
    Acquired through false or misleading statements, knowingly or not.

Examples include fake passports, doctored academic transcripts, and photoshopped images. Providing such documents leads to visa refusal under PIC 4020, highlighting the importance of authenticity. This definition is broad to cover any questionable documents in visa applications, as per the Australian Migration Act 1958.

What does FALSE and MISLEADING mean?

“False and misleading” in PIC 4020 pertains to incorrect or deceptive information relevant to visa decision-making. This includes:

  1. Incorrect Information:
    Untrue data, like fake documents or fabricated relationships.
  2. Deceptive Practices:
    Misleading the authorities, such as omitting critical facts or providing false statements.

Minor errors, like typos, are generally not considered false or misleading if corrected promptly. The emphasis is on the importance of honesty and accuracy in visa applications to Australia.

Natural Justice Letter

A natural justice letter provides you with the chance to:

  1. Provide your comments regarding the suspected false or misleading information or bogus document.
  2. Address whether you believe any grounds exist for a waiver.

To meet the requirements of PIC 4020, it’s essential to demonstrate that the bogus document or false or misleading information was intentionally falsified. If you can effectively explain that any discrepancies were due to an innocent mistake in the document or information you provided, you may be considered compliant with PIC 4020.

PIC 4020 Waiver

PIC 4020 waiver involves two key circumstances:

  1. Compelling Circumstances:
    If refusal of a visa is due to bogus documents or misleading information, the applicant must show compelling reasons related to Australia’s interests or those of its citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.
  2. Case-by-Case Basis:
    Waiver consideration depends on individual circumstances, such as the applicant’s potential contributions to Australia or adverse effects on a minor child in Australia.

Each waiver request is evaluated on its specific merits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is PIC 4020?
    PIC 4020 is a criterion in Australian visa applications to prevent false information or bogus documents.

  2. How does PIC 4020 affect my visa application?
    It requires accuracy in information/documents; failure to comply can lead to visa refusal.

  3. What constitutes a bogus document under PIC 4020?
    Falsified or counterfeit documents, like altered passports or fake work references.

  4. What is considered false or misleading information in PIC 4020?
    Any incorrect or deceptive information relevant to the visa process.

  5. Can PIC 4020 lead to visa refusal?
    Yes, if false information or bogus documents are provided.

  6. How can I avoid failing PIC 4020?
    Ensure all provided information and documents are accurate and authentic.

  7. What is the non-grant period under PIC 4020?
    A period during which you’re ineligible for a visa due to prior false information.

  8. Can I correct a mistake after submitting my visa application under PIC 4020?
    Minor errors can be corrected, but major misinformation might lead to application failure.

  9. Are there any exceptions to PIC 4020?
    Exceptions are rare and based on individual case assessments.

  10. How does PIC 4020 apply to family members in my application?
    It applies to both the primary applicant and their family members.

  11. What should I do if I provided false information by accident?
    Contact immigration authorities immediately to rectify the error.

  12. How can PIC 4020 affect my future visa applications?
    It can lead to a temporary bar on future applications.

  13. Can I appeal a visa refusal under PIC 4020?
    Appeals are possible but depend on specific case details.

  14. How long does the PIC 4020 bar last?
    Typically 3 to 10 years, based on the severity of the violation.

  15. Can I provide additional documents to clear a PIC 4020 doubt?
    Yes, if it helps prove the authenticity of your application.

  16. Does PIC 4020 apply to all types of Australian visas? 

  17. It applies to most visa types, including skilled, student, and family visas.

  18. How is PIC 4020 different from other public interest criteria?
    PIC 4020 specifically targets false information/document issues.

  19. What evidence is required to waive PIC 4020?
    Evidence of compelling or compassionate circumstances.

  20. Can providing incomplete information affect my application under PIC 4020?
    Yes, omitting important information can lead to application failure.

  21. How does the Department of Home Affairs verify information for PIC 4020?
    Through document checks, background verification, and cross-referencing information.