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.

Courtland gavan-glover
Courtland G.
My wife and I, who had been separated due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, engaged Gold Migration Lawyers to help us be reunited after having been unsuccessful in doing so on our own. To go from feeling hopeless and having no idea how to move forward to leaving our initial consultation with Gold Migration with a firm plan and full confidence that the team understood our situation, to having a 309 Partner Visa approved just 4 months later (just 2.5 months processing time!) and being reunited with my wife in Australia just a few weeks after that goes beyond what a five-star review can convey, but needless to say we are extremely grateful for the always professional, prompt, and practical assistance of Gold Migration. Especially in cases like ours there is no price that can be put on what their hard work makes possible. Cannot recommend highly enough for working through visa and immigration solutions from the ground up.read more
Cherry Family
Cherry F.
Exceeded all all expectations....Andreas and team are the ultimate professionals....their level of customer service is second to none....took all the stress out of the process and delivered 100% in super quick time....the entire experience was made simple and clear from the start...will definitely be returning....read more
I am very grateful to the lawyer Peter Peng. Although my case is very troublesome, he was very patient to help me solve it step by step. At that time, I only had 20 days to provide supplementary information from the Immigration. I found this law firm, the owner, Ramtin.  He is very confidence and professional also made me full of confidence in him. They added different viewpoints and legal opinions in the explanation letter, which successfully made the immigration officer accept my explanation.  The next day after submitting the information, the Immigration officer immediately accepted my explanation and asked me to have a medical examination.It took two months to successfully get the Partner(820) VISA, I am very grateful to them  I highly recommend this law firm , they are really pro and they can help you slove any problem.read more
Bibi Mon
Bibi M.
I went to these lawyers trusting them they will be able to organise my permanent residency. I was a little worried with how much it costs but in the end I have to say they went above and beyond my expectations, they were worth every cent. I would like to mention and thank my lawyer Peter who looked after my case, very professional through the whole process. Gold immigration lawyers are the “gold” standard.read more
Ignacio Falcon
Ignacio F.
Amazing team of lawyers! Peter was extremely helpful and offered detailed guidance throughout the whole process. I highly recommend their services
Mauricio G Guerra
Mauricio G G.
Exceeded my expectations, good communication, very professional!
Leo Donnelly
Leo D.
They made the process very smooth, always there to answer my calls and give professional help even to the most minor detail.I felt like I was treated like family.Visa was processed very quickly and I would recommend them to anyone who would like assistance with the Visa application.read more
Alison B
Alison B
Thank you Andreas. He helped our company in record time.
Tin Maung Lynn
Tin Maung L.
Best lawyers/consultants in town, I highly recommend their consultation, worked with "Mr. Andreas" during my employer sponsor 186 DE visa with family application onshore, He is very active, friendly, helpful, thorough and detail oriented person. He managed to get employer nomination approval in just 10 days after application, and visa approval the next day after medicals cleared, This is the type of exemplary customer service they provide. Thanks to their expertise and experience. I am very happy and glad that we have engaged "Gold Migration Lawyers" to handle our application.read more

Our Team