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Application of the Fraud Public Interest Criterion 4020 across all Family Stream visas

From 1 July 2013 all applicants for a Family Stream visa must satisfy the Fraud Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020. The Fraud PIC 4020 applies to all new applications and applications lodged before 1 July 2013 which have not yet been finalised. This includes decisions currently under review.

For visa applicants

Your application may be refused if it includes bogus documents or information that is false or misleading. This includes information given by you, a member of your family or a third party acting on your behalf. You and your family may also be subject to a three year bar which might prevent the grant of certain other visas.

Transitional Arrangements

If you have lodged an application for a visa listed below, your application will be subject to an assessment under the Fraud PIC 4020.

The Fraud PIC 4020 applies to applications lodged prior to 1 July 2013 which have not yet been finalised. This includes applications currently under review.

Affected visa subclasses

The affected visa subclasses are as follows:


Subclass Type of visa Visa title
100 Family Partner (Migrant)
101 Family Child (Migrant)
102 Family Adoption (Migrant)
103 Family Parent (Migrant)
110 ** Family Interdependency (Migrant)
114 Family Aged Dependent Relative (Migrant)
115 Family Remaining Relative (Migrant)
116 Family Carer (Migrant)
117 Family Orphan Relative (Migrant)
143 Family Contributory Parent (Migrant)
173 Family Contributory Parent (Temporary)
300 Family Prospective Marriage (Temporary)
309 Family Partner (Provisional)
445 Family Dependent Child (Temporary)
461 Family New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary)
801 Family Partner (Residence)
802 Family Child (Residence)
804 Family Aged Parent (Residence)
814 ** Family Interdependency (Residence)
820 Family Partner (Temporary)
835 Family Remaining Relative (Residence)
836 Family Carer (Residence)
837 Family Orphan Relative (Residence)
838 Family Aged Dependent Relative (Residence)
864 Family Contributory Aged Parent (Residence)
884 Family Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary)

Note: ** Closed to new applications from 01/07/2009.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Fraud PIC 4020?

The Fraud PIC 4020 has been applied to all Family Stream visas to minimise the level of fraud present in visa applications by providing a strong disincentive to those considering submitting false or misleading information in relation to an application (including review).

The Fraud PIC 4020 strengthens the department's ability to refuse to grant a visa where applicants have provided any false or misleading information.

How does the department assess an application against the Fraud PIC 4020?

The Fraud PIC 4020 is comprised of three primary questions:

  1. Have you provided bogus documents or information that is false or misleading during the course of the current application?
  2. Have you previously provided bogus documents or information that is false or misleading in relation to a visa that you held in the 12 months before current application was made?
  3. Have you had a visa refused for failing to meet the Fraud PIC 4020 in the three year period immediately before both time of application and decision?

For visa subclasses that are subject to the Fraud PIC 4020, these criteria allow the department to lawfully assess whether your application contains bogus documents or information that is false or misleading.

If the department suspects an application contains fraudulent information, will I be provided with the opportunity to comment on my application?

Yes. Where we suspect an application contains fraudulent information, we are required by law to seek your comments regarding issues concerning the genuineness of this information.

This invitation also provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate compelling and/or compassionate reasons as to why the visa should be granted. You will be provided with 28 days to reply. Failure to do so will likely result in your application being refused.

What are considered to be compelling and/or compassionate circumstances?

Compelling and/or compassionate circumstances are limited to either of the following:

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

Where you fail to demonstrate that you meet one of the above criteria, your application may be subject to refusal.

What action can the department take if bogus documents or information that is false or misleading is found in a visa application subject to assessment against the Fraud PIC 4020?

Where you are found to have supplied bogus documents or provided information that is false or misleading to the department, your application may be refused. You may also be subject to a three year bar which may prevent the grant of a further visa.

Note: The three year bar applies only to visas that are subject to assessment against the Fraud PIC 4020.

Where an application is refused against the Fraud PIC 4020, are migrating family members included in the application also subject to a three year bar?

Yes. The Fraud PIC 4020 is a 'one fails, all fail' criterion. This means that where an application is refused against the Fraud PIC 4020, all persons included in that application will be refused. This also includes dependent (secondary) applicants who were under 18 years of age at time of application.

Note: If the dependent applicant is now 18 years of age or older, they can lodge a new application. However, they will need to provide evidence to the department demonstrating compelling and/or compassionate reasons detailing why we should waive the bar and consider the grant of a visa application.

What about non-migrating family members that were listed in the refused application, will any future application they make be affected by the refusal of this visa?

No. As the non-migrating family member did not make a combined application with you, any future visa application they want to lodge where the Fraud PIC 4020 is an assessable criterion, is permissible.

Case Scenario – Operation of the 3 year bar

Applicant A has lodged an application with Applicant B. Applicant A and/or Applicant B has provided fraudulent information, and the application is refused on 06/07/2012.

One year later, Applicant B lodges a new application as the primary applicant, with Applicant C as the secondary applicant. As Applicant B is still subject to a three year bar due to their previous refusal (on the grounds of the provision of fraudulent information), all included applicants are refused (the PIC 4020 is 'one fails, all fail').

Applicant B continues to be subject to the bar until 06/07/2015.

Applicant C is not subject to a bar.

This is because the bar is only imposed when an application is refused due to the provision of fraudulent information, not based on previous refusals due to applications during a bar period (this also prevents the bar period from being reset every time they lodge an application prior to the expiry of the bar period).

Will review rights be afforded where an application has been refused against the Fraud PIC 4020?

Yes. For applications lodged in Australia, you can apply for review where review rights currently exist. Applications lodged outside Australia, will not have access to review rights, unless the sponsor applies for review on the applicant's behalf.

Where an application is refused, a decision record will be provided to you with information regarding your review rights.