Visa applications were false or misleading information is provided – Changes to 4020 Fraud Public Interest Criteria

Publish Date: Nov 27, 2017

Important changes have been introduced to the Public Interest Criteria 4020 (PIC4020).  The changes come into effect on 18 November 2017.

PIC4020 can result in refusal of a visa application if false or misleading information is provided for:

  1. the current application being processed; or
  2. a visa which has been held by the applicant within the last 12 months; or
  3. an application which has been refused in the last 3 years (or 5 years in some cases).

The changes will mean that an application can be refused if false or misleading information is provided for:

  1. the visa held;  or
  2. any visa applied for within the last 10 years.

The Explanatory Memorandum states that the intention of the amendment is to prevent applicants from withdrawing their applications after they have been notified by the Department of suspected fraud, and then re-attempting their applications after 12 months have elapsed, using only new, genuine documents that can “withstand scrutiny” in support of the renewed visa application.  In other words, the expanded 10-year “exclusion period” is meant to prevent applicants from simply “waiting out” the period after a previous “fraud”. 

One of the common issues with 4020 is the failure to declare family members correctly. For example, claiming step children or customarily adopted children as biological children. If the application form is not correctly completed, it can trigger 4020 issues which would affect both the current 4020).

Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 2017  accessed at

This page contains the law as at November 2017. The law changes frequently and this page is not intended as advice. If you need advice please contact us.

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