The phrase ‘Public Interest Criteria’ or ‘PIC’ refers to specific criteria in the migration legislation that generally relate to health and character requirements that visa applicants need to meet. There are a number of PICs, which are identified by a four digit number that begins with the number 4. Different PICs apply to different types of visas.
On 02 April 2011 the Department is introducing PIC 4020. This PIC, which is also known as the ‘Fraud PIC’ is aimed at reducing the level of fraud present in visa applications by providing additional penalties to those who submit false or misleading information in a visa application.
Where an applicant is found to have provided false or misleading information, the application will be refused and the applicant will be subject to a three year bar which may prevent the grant of a further visa.
The three year bar applies only to visas that are subject to assessment against the Fraud PIC.
The affected visa subclasses are currently limited to General Skilled Migration subclasses and Employer Subclasses.
GMS Subclasses: 175, 176, 475, 476, 485, 487, 495, 496, 880, 881, 882, 883, 885, 886, 887
Employer sponsored Subclasses: 119, 121, 457, 856, 857
PIC 4020 will apply to applications for the above listed subclasses, which are lodged on or after 02 April. Applications for these subclasses which have already been lodged but not decided by 02 April will also be considered against this PIC.