Why is important to provide accurate information when applying for a visa?
Following recent events in the media concerning allegations of fraudulent information being provided in support of visa applications, this article will look at the Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4020. False or misleading information is information which, is relevant to the visa criteria and contributes in a material way to the decision which, might not have been made had the true information been known.
PIC 4020 was introduced on 2 April 2011 and applies to all Skilled Migration (General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work, Permanent Employer Sponsored), Business Skills, Student, Visitor and Family visas.
PIC 4020 enables the Department of Immigration to refuse a visa application if an applicant provides a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to that application, or a visa that the applicant held in the period of 12 months before the application was made.
False or Misleading information
False or misleading information is information which, is relevant to the visa criteria and contributes in a material way to the decision which, might not have been made had the true information been known.
Examples of false or misleading information may include a false or inaccurate statement of information in a document, application or declaration, variances in birth dates provided on the application form and birth certificate, information about a secondary and /or non-migrating dependent’s relationship to the primary applicant or an employment reference in support of an applicant’s work experience.
A bogus document is a document that was not issued in respect of the person or is counterfeit or has been altered without authority or was obtained because of a false or misleading statement.
Examples of bogus documents may include a counterfeit passport, birth or marriage certificate, educational certificate, work reference or financial document. Documents issued by a genuine authority but obtained fraudulently may include an English language test result that was not achieved by the applicant, a skills assessment obtained by providing false claims to a skills assessing body or a document belonging to another person that is presented to the department by the visa applicant as their own.
The Department of Immigration and associated bodies including skills assessment authorities undertake significant procedures to ensure the integrity of information and documentation provided in support of an application.
Consequences of providing false or misleading information or a bogus document may lead to a visa application being refused, an existing visa being cancelled and exclusion periods of 3 years.
To avoid all these risks, ALWAYS work with a certified migration agent, which can help you with your documentation before you send it to the Immigration department.