Public Interest Criterion (4020 Problems)

Public Interest Criterion (4020 Problems)

Worried about PIC 4020 Problems, Our Immigration Expert Mr. KAMAL And Mohit Goutam with more than 20,000 hours of work experience can offer you confidence in making better submissions to satisfy 4020 criteria.

You may find it very useful to inquire about case from Stepsmith Immigration Services whether they have actually been successful with a PIC 4020 case.

This is where we can help. We handle many cases, and We get to consider many many “invitation to comment letters” and PIC refusals. We’ll help you avoid a further negative decision if it’s possible.

What Is the Public Interest Criterion 4020?

The following are the different types of PIC 4020 that a visa Applicant may be subject to. Subclause PIC 4020 (1) & (2) is in relation to providing bogus documents or false/misleading information in the visa application. Subclause PIC 4020 (2A) & (2B) is in relation to the Department not being able to identify the visa applicant’s identity.

Subclause PIC 4020 (1)

A visa Applicant will be subject to PIC 4020 (1) if they have given or caused to be given a bogus document/information that is false/misleading in relations to: the visa application; and
the visa application that you had held in the period of 12 months before the application was made

Subclause PIC 4020 (2)

The visa Applicant and the Applicant’s member of the family unit (MOFU) must have not been refused a visa because of failure to satisfy PIC 4020(1) during:
a period starting 3 years before the visa application was made (i.e. 3 years exclusion period or 3 years ban); and ending when a decision is made to grant or refuse the visa.

For example: If Neharika applies for a visa on 1 January 2019, the “3 years period” will be considered from 1 January 2016. And it will end when the Department makes a decision to grant or refuse Neharika application.

Subclause PIC 4020 (2A)

Visa applicants will be subject to PIC 4020 (2A) if the Minister cannot confirm their identity. Essentially, providing false identity will result in a refusal of your visa application.

Subclause PIC 4020 (2B)

The visa Applicant and the Applicant’s member of the family unit (MOFU) must have not been refused a visa because of failure to satisfy PIC 4020(2A) during:

the period starting 10 years BEFORE the application was made (i.e. 10 years exclusion period or 10 years ban); and ending when a decision is made to grant or refuse the application;

IMPORTANT: A MOFU is a person who is the applicant’s MOFU at the time the application is being considered. MOFU will be considered regardless of whether they are included in the application.
For example: If Soma applies for a visa on 1 January 2019, the “10 years period” will be considered from 1 January 2009. And it will end when the Department makes a decision to grant or refuse Soma application.

Clause PIC 4020 (2AA) and (2BA)

PIC 4020 (2AA) and (2BA) involves Applicants who are under the age of 18, i.e. a minor.

The effect is that Applicants who are considered to be a minor at the time their visa was refused, will not be subject to the 3 years or 10 years requirements of PIC 4020 (2) and PIC 4020 (2B).

IMPORTANT: this provision does not prevent a minor from being refused a visa for failing to satisfy the PIC 4020 criteria – they still can. However, they are simply NOT subject to the 3 years or 10 years ban in relation to their future visa application.

Can PIC 4020 Be Waived?

Not all PIC 4020 provisions can be waived.
If a visa Applicant is subject to PIC 4020 (1) and PIC 4020 (2), they may be able to waive this by satisfying that:
there are compelling circumstances that affect the interests of Australia; or
there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that affect the interest if an Australia citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.


IMPORTANT: Visa Applicants who are subject to PIC 4020 (2A) and PIC 4020 (2B) that is relevant to identity will not be able to waive PIC 4020.

Types of 4020 Problems

There are two types of bogus documents that result in a Public Interest Criteria 4020 problem.

The first type relates to deception in terms of “identity” The second type relates to the deception of other facts like skills, health, character and most commonly, work experience.

Bogus Document Definition

A bogus document is a false document. A bogus document is one that looks as though its been issued by someone. When in fact it hasn’t been issued by that person at all or is counterfeit or has been altered in an unauthorised way or has been obtained under false pretences.

Did you, in fact, mislead Immigration? If the DIBP alleges that you provided false documents or statements, you can pursue two approaches.

The first approach is to challenge the allegation made by the DIBP and clarify that you in fact provided NO false documents or statements, within the meaning of PIC 4020. There are strict deadlines so must act quickly to take this approach. The second approach is to argue that even if that was the case (i.e. you, in fact, had provided false documents or materials), the nature and extent of the circumstances are such that PIC 4020 is nevertheless met. The argument is that the fact that false documents or materials were provided should be of little or no consequence in the grander scheme of things. The interests of Australian citizens and permanent residents may also be relevant in some cases.

PIC 4020 Consequences – So What?

Those refused a visa because they are suspected of providing bogus documents or false or misleading information in the three (3) years before they lodge a visa will need to provide reasons as to why the visa they have applied for should be granted. Especially, if they must satisfy the PIC 4020 criterion as part of the visa application. Most visas now have this criterion.

You Are Not Alone

We have also seen into our past experience that sometimes visa officer’s can also make the mistake to understand your case . There are many many visa applicants that are affected by PIC 4020. It’s because it’s an easy shot for the Minister or Minister’s Delegate ( case officer) to take. It’s potentially fatal for you. The PIC 4020 card can be dealt with you even if you are innocent or negligent (or simply stupid) in providing information about your visa application.

But as they say, “it is not all over until its over”. If you’ve let yourself down, or you’ve been let down by someone who’s lodged the wrong documents on your behalf, then talk with us.

We can’t help everyone that is affected by PIC 4020. We’ll explain whether it’s possible to turn any actual or likely PIC 4020 decision around. We’ll discuss how to make the best of a bad situation.

Providing misleading information, false documentation or identification are obvious big no-nos in Australia. There are criminal laws governing such actions but to keep it simple the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has a law where they can by step the police and keep it simple by just refusing your visa. The PIC 4020 (Public Interest Criteria) requirement is used a broad sweeping broom to briskly sweep out any suspect offenders. The problem is that if your caught by this broom and about to be shown the door and the door will be locked for the next three or ten years. It is very difficult to be saved from being tossed out, not impossible, but difficult. Many people try and do the wrong thing and that is their choice to take the risk. However many innocent people get caught up in these aggressive clean ups by the department as all it takes is them to get suspicious.

Will you get caught by the 4020 broomstick? It will apply if:

(1) The applicant has provided false documentation, misleading or incorrect information, or cannot satisfy as to their identity for an application
(2) The applicant has provided false documentation, misleading or incorrect information, or cannot satisfy as to their identity in relation to a visa the applicant held in the 12 months before the time of application
(3) The applicant or member of the family unit was previously refused a visa due to false documentation, misleading or incorrect information, or inability to satisfy as to their identity.

If the applicant has provided false documentation, misleading or incorrect information, or cannot satisfy as to their identity, they will face a refusal on the basis of failure to meet PIC 4020.

If the applicant has previously been refused a visa based on PIC 4020 due to having provided false documentation or misleading or incorrect information, they will not be able to be granted another visa with a PIC 4020 requirement for the next three years.

If the applicant has previously been refused a visa based on PIC 4020 due to having been unable to prove one’s identity, they will not be able to be granted another visa with a PIC 4020 requirement for the next ten years. There is no provision for a waiver of the ban or “no-grant” period under these circumstances.

It is very important to be careful with this. It is more easy than you think to get yourself in a situation PIC 4020. Perhaps you did not directly provide false information or documents to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). It can still bite you in the behind. Here’s an example; you have provided false evidence on work experience to yours skills assessment body just so you can pass the assessment criteria. Then with that positive assessment your apply for a migration visa but you do not give the DIBP those bogus work refence letters. You hope the DIBP will not check on your work history but the reality is, that they often do. The DIBP checks with your employer who say you were working in some other occupation, not the one you claimed.

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