The process of applying for an Australian visa can be an understandably complicated procedure. Potential visa applicants need to be aware that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection considers the integrity of visa applications to be an extremely serious issue.
The Public Interest Criteria (“PIC”) 4020 criterion – also referred to as the ‘integrity’ PIC – is a strict criterion which must be satisfied if one has applied for any of the following visas:-
• Skilled migration visas;
• Business visas;
• Temporary visas;
• Student visas;
• Family visas.
Applicants will fail to satisfy the PIC4020 and have their application refused if they are found to have provided false or misleading information or a bogus document to the Department in relation to the current visa application or a recently obtained visa. Applicants will usually be provided with the opportunity to comment and seek a waiver of the PIC4020 before a decision is made.
Applicants should note that the visa application may still be refused even if the false or misleading information was provided unknowingly. As such, applicants should carefully review all information and documentation before submitting anything to the Department.
Apart from a refusal, applicants (and any dependents) will also be excluded for a period of three years from applying for another visa to which PIC 4020 applies.
Applicants should be aware that if they fail to satisfy the PIC4020 on identity grounds, they will be subject to a 10-year exclusion period from applying for another visa to which PIC 4020 applies. The identity requirement is not subject to a waiver.
The Department is attempting to reduce the level of fraud in visa applications and have been very strict in imposing the PIC4020 on applicants. As such, it is evident that failure to address the PIC4020 properly may lead to serious disadvantages for a visa applicant.
Whether you have received an Invitation to Comment from the Department and believe you may have your visa refused due to the PIC4020, or require assistance in seeking a waiver of the PIC4020, our team will be able to assess your individual circumstances and assist you in deploying the most advantageous strategy possible. Migration Guru has a team of 7 Migration Agents and Solicitors with more than 35 years of collective experience in the industry. The skills and experience we have acquired over time allows us to provide clients with accurate and personalised legal and migration advice in order to ensure that the best possible outcomes are achieved.