Public Interest Criteria 4020 – What is it and How Important is it?

Public Interest Criteria 4020, popularly called as PIC 4020 is a serious thing!

If your visa falls under this category then it is subject to refusal. It is because PIC 4020 is allocated to visa holders submitting bogus information or documents that are misleading or false to the Department.

Being a visa applicant, it is your responsibility to provide truthful information for your visa application. If you fail to do so, then your visa application will be refused. So, if you don’t want your visa application to fall under this category then know everything about PIC 4020.

Factors Contributing to PIC 4020

A Department considers a visa applicant as PIC 4020 if:

  • The visa applicant has submitted bogus documents or misleading or false details in the visa application.
  • The department is unable to identify the identity of the visa applicant.

Applicability of Visas under Public Interest Criteria 4020

The PIC 4020 is applicable to visas under the following categories:

  • Business visa
  • Family visa
  • Student visa
  • Skilled Migration visa, including employer-sponsored work visa
  • Temporary visa like visitor visa

The Different Types of Public Interest Criteria 4020

There are different kinds of PIC 4020, which a visa applicant is subject to. Here are the details of each one of them.

Subclause PIC 4020 (1)

This subclause is in relation to submitting misleading or false information or bogus documents in the visa application. The documents submitted have misleading information in relation to the visa application and the visa application, which you had held in a period of 12 months before this application was made.

Subclause PIC 4020 (2)

The applicant of visa or any family member of the applicant (MOFU) must have not been refused the visa because of failure to meet PIC 4020 (1) during:

  • A duration beginning 3 years before making of the visa application, which is 3 years exclusion period or 3 years ban, and
  • It ends when a decision is made to refuse or grant the visa.

Note: A MOFU is an individual who is the applicant’s MOFU at the time this application is being considered. It is considered even if they are not included in the application form.

Subclause PIC 4020 (2A)

Your visa application can fall under this category if the minister of the department is not able to confirm your identity. Most importantly, submitting false identity can lead to refusal of the visa application.

Subclause PIC 4020 (2B)

The applicant of visa, as well as member of the family of the applicant, must have not been refused the visa because they fail to satisfy PIC 4020 (2A) during:

  • The period beginning 10 years before making of the application, which is 10 years exclusion period or ban of 10 years, and
  • It ends when a decision is made to refuse or grant the application.

Clause PIC 4020 (2AA) as well as (2BA)

This clause is for applicants who are below 18 years of age, which means for minors.

As an effect of this clause, applicants who are minor during the time of visa refusal will not be subject to the requirements of 3 years and 10 years of PIC 4020 (2) and PIC 4020 (2B).

Is it Possible to Waive PIC 4020?

No, it is not all possible to waive PIC 4020 provisions. But there are certain exceptions to it.

If the visa applicant falls under the category of PIC 4020 (1) and PIC 4020 (2), then they can waive this clause by confirming that:

  • There are major circumstances that affect the interests of the country, or
  • There are compelling and compassionate circumstances that affect the interest of a New Zealand citizen, permanent residents of Australia, or a citizen of Australia.

Information or Reasons that Triggers PIC 4020

There are numerous reasons to why the Department will raise PIC 4020 issues. Some of them are:

  • The department has requested the applicant to justify or comment on suspected information in the documents provided, but rather the applicant withdraws the application.
  • Further, it is possible that the applicant continues to call for a time extension without offering valid reasons even after being requested for the same.
  • The claims of the applicant are inconsistent or do not match with the information mentioned in his previous applications.
  • There is an immigration history attached to the applicant that confirms they had submitted misleading or false information even in their previous applications.

Are PIC 4020 Issues Serious?

Yes, PIC 4020 issues are extremely serious. For this reason, they must be dealt with care. Sometimes, even the department can make mistakes and the AAT can improperly state their decision that can potentially result in legal errors. If your application has stamped with PIC 4020, we advise seeking the help of our professionals who are well aware of the laws and know how to interpret your application, in the shortest time frame.

Contact Us for Help

We are certified and experienced professionals in immigration law. We can help you guide through the complete process of application and help you prepare all important documents involved, to make sure that the documents meet all requirements before we lodge an application.

Book a consultation with us so that we can analyze your eligibility and tailor your application in accordance with the circumstances.

By |2019-03-04T22:34:41+00:00March 4th, 2019|

About the Author:

Amitava Deb
Amitava Deb is an Australian citizen. His tryst with Australia started more than 25 years ago. A long-lasting relationship with Australia made him realise how so many people across the world are keen to migrate and settle in Australia! Driven by his innate understanding of Australia and passion to help people settle in Australia, he started DMS (Debika Migration Services) in 2004. Since then, he has successfully helped more than 2000 migrants settle in Australia.A MARA (Migrations Agents Registration Authority) Registered Migration Agent, Amitava Deb confidently wears his decade plus (and continuing!) experience in assisting aspiring migrants to comfortably settle in Australia.

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