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.

Mario Kurniawan
Mario K.
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Shielamarie Fundador
Shielamarie F.
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Gouthamb Rajashekar
Gouthamb R.
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Natalie Nyein
Natalie N.
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Pramela Raja Desinggit
Pramela Raja D.
I cannot speak highly enough of my lawyer Mr Walt and his exceptional representation throughout my appeal process at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). From the moment I engaged their services, I was impressed by their professionalism, expertise, and unwavering dedication to my case.Mr Walt demonstrated an unparalleled understanding of migration law and meticulously prepared my appeal, leaving no stone unturned. His clear communication and guidance throughout the entire process alleviated any concerns I had, providing me with the confidence and reassurance I needed during what was undoubtedly a stressful time.What truly sets Mr Walt apart is his genuine care for his clients. He took the time to understand my unique circumstances, and his personalized approach ensured that my case received the attention it deserved. His strategic legal arguments were both persuasive and compelling, ultimately leading to a favorable outcome at the AAT.I am immensely grateful to Mr Walt for his unwavering support and tireless efforts on my behalf. Thanks to his expertise and dedication, I can now look forward to a positive future in Australia. I wholeheartedly recommend Mr Walt to anyone in need of expert migration legal services.Thank you once again for everything.Sincerely,Pramela Raja Desinggitread more
I am highly thankful to Saemeh Ghasemi and Carolyn Araboghlian for helping me to get visa for my wife and 12 years old step daughter.I was stuck with any other migration agent for almost 2 years but no response from immigration.Someone has recommended me Gold migration and I received my visa in 5 months with their hardwork and well prepared lodgement of my file.Little bit expensive for me but really worth it.Thanksread more