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.

Abdul hamid Adam
Abdul hamid A.
My partner and I walked into Gold Migration for the first time in early November 2023 for seeking help about my case in AAT. Saemeh Ghasemi help me and support me through with everything that I need to prepare for hearing in next few week. Saemeh Ghasemi also accompany and attend AAT hearing with me. Saemeh Ghasemi always give us mentally support, tell us don’t be stress. In January 2024, Saemeh called me and give me a good news, that we won ATT. Thank you Saemeh Ghasemi, you make my self and my partner can be together and stay in Australia together. Thank you Gold migration lawyers.read more
Simon m
Simon m
I engaged Gold Migration, because I had left things a little too late and there were some factors that were too complicated and too confusing and too high risk for me to do on my own.My first meeting with them was by video. I was looking at a set up with lined up desks much like you see in a court room drama. There were 3 people in the room. They asked me to describe my circumstances and they answered my questions. They were forthright and pulled no punches, they told me the risks and the issues I would have to deal with. Then they conferred together and then gave me a price. It wasn’t the most expensive I had been quoted, nor the cheapest, but what impressed me about them was the machine like efficiency they dealt with the problem from the beginning. There are NO surprises from this firm. They lay out all the costs at the time of engagement, they tell you the steps they will be taking and their approach.Remember this is Immigration you’re dealing with, even expert lawyers have no control over such a department, timescale is not in the control of you or your lawyers.For the first month it was a flurry of activity for me. They sent me a cloud based drive to upload all my documents and evidence to. They reviewed it and made suggestions. All of the statements they asked me to write came with examples and best way to write them. Then they told me they had everything they needed and to leave it with them. On reflection I realised I had witnessed a highly experienced team in action. They asked for and got what they needed, it was explained and documented and organised. They have a very efficient set of procedures they follow and they make sure all the boxes are ticked before they submit.You can’t fault this level of experience and practical application, you basically pay them and go along for the ride. Over the months as immigration dealt with the case they came back to me a few times and asked for more information. I know they wrote reports and fielded questions from immigration but all I got was a comment that everything was tracking as planned.The most interesting part for me to see was the obvious pleasure and satisfaction they enjoyed when they called me to tell me we finally had the PR visa. They took it personally and that meant a lot to me.Are they expensive ? Well that depends, how much is having your family members live with you in Australia worth to you ? They are not the cheapest , they are not the most expensive, but I am confident that they are the best!If you are worried about getting a loved one or a valued worker a visa, or you are having issues with your visa, you should not hesitate to go with the gold standard. Go with Gold Immigration and sleep better at night knowing your visa issue is in good hands.read more
Jalal Razavi
Jalal R.
Entrusting Gold Migration Lawyers was the best decision I ever made for my parents to obtain a safe and secure future here in Australia. A life changing decision for them.Our case manager was Saemeh Ghasemi who was instrumental in ensuring their Protection Visa was thoroughly detailed and solid. Saemeh was very kind caring and took extra effort to understand and appreciate the dire situation of my parents and was very supportive all the way to a successful "Visa Granted" outcome.Thank you Saemeh and team for your dedicated and supportive service to me and my parents."Gold Migration Lawyers indeed provides GOLD CLASS service" and I strongly recommend them to our family and friends.read more
Daniel Esdaile
Daniel E.
My partner and I had walked into Gold Migration for the first time in May of 2023. I was anxious at I knew by the time we would have to lodge our partner visa we would not have lived together for 12 months. Walt had given us the reassurance that all would be okay, I instantly felt that sigh of relief through the professional and welcoming service that Walt and his team had provided. We then began our journey with Gold Migration Lawyers, the whole time Walt had been there to support us through every enquiry and every piece of evidence. We eventually submitted our visa in October with every bit of confidence of a positive outcome. In February we got out 820 grant, the moment Walt had told me that the visa had been granted I began to cry of happiness. Thank you Walt! Thank you Gold migration lawyers, you have allowed myself and my partner to be in Australia together.read more
Ghassan Elbarhoun
Ghassan E.
I’d like to thank SAEMEH GHASEMI and her team for their exceptional work on our visa, very very easy process ,I highly recommend gold migration, thanks Samy.
Isoa Talevakaruamainairai
Isoa T.
Massive thank you goes to Saemeh Ghasemi and Carolyn Araboghlian at Gold Migration Lawyer for their relentless support throughout the process of preparing for my AAT appeal right through the exciting news of successfully wining the AAT Appeal. Wow absolutely amazing, to be able to work with Saemeh Ghasemi and Carolyn Araboghlian. Saemeh Ghansemi have been going extra miles to ensure that Gold Migration provide and delivered positive experience that took so much anxiety, nerves away and for genuinely cares about her clients. I am so pleased and grateful to be able to trust Gold Migration Lawyers for the Successful Outcome of my AAT Appeal. Even before the appeal I was already recommending Gold Migration Lawyer to my friends due to the best services that they have already initiate from the beginning of the services. I have never experience best services before thanking you so much Saemeh Ghasemi for going extra miles really means a lot to me personally and Thank You so much Gold Migration for an AMAZING SERVICES. I would definitely highly recommend Gold Migration Lawyers.read more
Tyler Meier
Tyler M.
Hiring Gold migration lawyers, and having Saemeh represent my partner was the best decision we could have made. My partner was applying for a Visa and had a hearing at the AAT, and Saemeh helped us prepare and get ready for the hearing and represented him very well, we were successful and found out within 2 weeks!! Saemeh’s had the expertise and knowledge to help us and we are so so thankful to her and the team at Gold Migration.read more
Syed Rizvi
Syed R.
Just wanted to say thank you walt for helping us getting our permanent residency after alot of bumps in our case.Thank you team gold migration
Kelvin Khant
Kelvin K.
Excellent service and you can always contact the team at anytime. absolutely recommended!