What is Public Interest Criterion 4020 (PIC 4020)? 

Public Interest Criterion 4020 is a requirement for the grant of most visas.

Under PIC 4020, a visa might be refused if bogus documents or information that is false or misleading is given to the Department or the AAT.

If that happens the Department of Home Affairs might not grant you a visa for a period of ten years.

What does the AAT need to decide if the visa applicant meets the Public Interest Criterion 4020?

The AAT will need to decide whether or not the visa applicant satisfies the below requirements under Public Interest Criterion 4020:

  1. there is no evidence they have given, or caused to be given, a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to a visa application or a visa held by them in the 12 months before the application was made
  2. they or a family member have not been refused a visa on the basis of (1) in the period starting 3 years immediately before the visa application was made and ending when the visa was granted or refused
  3. they satisfy the decision maker as to their identity
  4. they or a family member have not been refused a visa on the basis of (3) in the period starting 10 years before the visa application was made and ending when the visa was granted or refused.

Can the Public Interest Criterion 4020 and the requirements relating to bogus documents and false misleading information be waived?

If the AAT is not satisfied that the visa applicant meets both (1) and (2), it will first decide whether there are:

  • compelling circumstances that affect the interests of Australia, or
  • compassionate or compelling circumstances that affect the interests of an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen that justify the granting of the visa.

The AAT will then decide whether to waive PIC 4020 in light of the above circumstances.

Compelling or compassionate circumstances only apply to (1) and (2) and the circumstances should already exist rather than be related to something that might happen in the future.

What information can you give the AAT to support your case/review?

You can give the AAT any information that supports your case.

Examples of helpful information to give us in relation to bogus documents or misleading information might include:

  • Statements that are signed by you and/or the visa applicant
  • Evidence that the information or documents were not given by the visa applicant
  • Evidence that any false or misleading information is not relevant to the visa criteria
  • Evidence that a document has not been counterfeit or altered, and was not obtained because of a false or misleading statement
  • Evidence that information was not false or misleading at the time it was given.

Examples of helpful information to give the AAT in relation to compelling and compassionate circumstances might include:

  • Statement that is signed by you and/or the visa applicant
  • Evidence of serious family situations, such as the death of a family member
  • Evidence family members in Australia would be left without financial or emotional support
  • Evidence that a parent in Australia would be separated from their child
  • Details of how Australia’s trade or business opportunities or relationship with a foreign government would be impacted if the visa was not granted
  • Evidence that if the applicant were not granted a visa then Australia would be deprived of a significant business, economic, cultural, or other development
  • Medical reports or welfare issues affecting an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

When should you provide this information to the AAT in order to get the AAT to waive Public Interest Criterion 4020?

You should provide this information as soon as possible. If the AAT is satisfied with the information, a favourable decision might be possible without the need for a hearing. This means you might be able to get an outcome to your application sooner.

If you need help to provide the right evidence to request a review with the AAT regarding Public Interest Criterion 4020, fill in the form below to book a consultation with us.


Helping People Just Like You

What matters to us most is what our clients have to say about their experience once everything has been resolved. Below are some of the messages we have received from people we’ve represented.

Rexhep Behluli
Rexhep B.
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Sadiya Chang
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I recommend Sarah McNeil for anybody looking to get help with their protection visa.She has been amazing and because of her hard work and so much dedication towards my case the case officer only spent 25 minutes to take my interview and my visa was granted within a month after the interview.read more
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sam saab
sam S.
From the first call and conservation we had ,I knew they are the right lawyers for the job. We did a meeting and I didn’t even need to think about it twice , it was clear they are the right people ( lawyers ) for the job , they professional with a high level of attention for details and great communication skills and fast responses .very accurate about all requirements and how to address it .we kept a steady communication through the process and gave us a full guidance and help n our paper work . As a result my wife visa was granted in a record time . Like to thx all the team at Gold lawyers , special thx and appreciation for Andreas ,Kiriaki and Rita .Much love and respect .read more
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Bryan Mármol
Bryan M.
I am very thankful to Gold Migration for helping me obtain my permanent residency through the protection visa in a record time of 11 MONTHS. Since the beginning, they have been very professional and Kiriaki accompanied me and guided me through the whole process. She always looked out for me and thanks to her and the entire team, I achieved my residency.I would highly recommend them and thank you again.Bryan Marmolread more