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24th July 2013
Volume 250

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Dear students, 


Welcome to the latest edition of IMMIGRATION NEWS and to the new subscribers. This free service is brought to you by Australian Immigration Law Services. You can subscribe using the link on the right hand side or by visiting our website. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your friends.


In this edition we cover the ongoing issue regarding DIAC's miss use of the Public Interest Criteria 4020. 

Public Interest Criteria 4020 is Extending its Grasp 
Case Officers are now using PIC 4020 to tear families apart


The recent immigration updates for the new financial year has resulted in many visas getting affected and one of the updates that has slipped under the radar is the PIC4020, which has now become a part of the processing requirements for family stream visas.


Those with prior non-compliance of the 4020 criteria, that is deemed to have applications that contained information that was false or misleading or bogus documentation are now looking at having their past come back to haunt them despite having an Australian sponsor for a family stream visa.


The real question is how this update will be exercised within this stream, as the family stream automatically features an Australian permanent resident or citizen who might be able to demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances - something difficult to demonstrate in most skilled, student or business visas.


April 2011 saw the Immigration Department introducing the PIC4020 criterion enabling refusal of a visa application when an applicant provided 'bogus documents' (within the meaning of section 97 of the Migration Act 1958) or information that was false or misleading.


This amendment also meant that if an applicant had a visa refused under the 4020 subclause and makes a subsequent application for certain visas within a three year period, the minister can make a decision to grant or refuse the new application.


The scary world of MRT Hearings
By Tanaya Das


Of the tens of thousands of people who apply to migrate to Australia every year, there is only a small to medium percentage who are successful. 


In spite of that we'd like to think that the system is fair and designed to offer the best balance to allow appropriate applicants speedy approval while rejecting those who are attempting to enter Australia for the wrong reasons or through the wrong channels.


There are not a great deal of disadvantages of appealing a rejection and asking for an Review Tribunal to absolutely confirm a decision on an application.


Also, contrary to popular opinion all hope is not lost once the PIC4020 has been applied to an application as proved by Mahendra Choudhary. His 885 visa application was refused when he was mistakenly accused of providing a bogus document by his case officer. What came next, wasn't an easy path for Mahendra who not only had to appeal the very hard PIC 4020 clause but he was also made to use an interpreter whose interpreting created more mis-communication than anything else.


Even though he had provided all his documents in good faith and was positive that he had done nothing to mislead the Immigration Department Mahendra says "I was anxious and nervous because a lot of times I was getting a negative response from the MRT. In addition my hearing was not good because of the interpreter, I was worried all the time"


Mahendra moved to Australia after completing his high school in India to study for a Diploma in Hotel Management, having finishing that, worked at a restaurant to gain experience in the industry and subsequently applied for his PR based on the experience of working at the restaurant.


One of the crucial documents in Mahendra's application was his work experience certificate from the restaurant he completed his work experience at. Unfortunately for him the name of the restaurant on his work experience certificate was misspelt and hence the department decided that it must be a bogus document and refused his application on the basis of that.


After having spent seven and a half years of his life in Australia Mahendra says "Living and studying in Australia for so long, it is more a home than anywhere else and when I go to India it takes some time to adopt to the Indian lifestyle" According to him he felt his dream of permanent residency slipping away when his was advised by the Department of Immigration that his work experience certificate was bogus or misleading.


Having to attend a hearing is nerve-racking in itself but Mahendra was asked to use the services of an interpreter again and again till he acquiesced. He says he was put under unnecessary pressure by the tribunal "I advised the tribunal member that I do not need an interpreter but he kept saying he couldn't understand me but I have the same accent that the interpreter had. I have many Australian friends who understand me perfectly still the tribunal member forced me to use an interpreter"


In the end Mahendra says "I was happy to have a Registered Migration Agent representing me because he know how to handle this critical case. They are full of ideas because of their experience and can suggest how exactly to deal with the officer and their questions"


It took a lot of effort to convince the MRT of Mahendra's point but in the end persistence pays and his appeal was successful.


Mahendra has subsequently received a refund cheque from the MRT and has gone on to receive his Permanent Residency. Today he is looking forward to a bright future in Australia having pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering as well.


He says his success should convince others in the same situation that "You should not worry if you have done everything right. A visa refusal is not the end of the road."

The author of this story Tanaya Das is a former international student who did her post graduate studies in journalism from UTS. She has written many stories in the past for Immigration News covering the collapse of some of Australia's notorious business colleges and other human interest stories.
She has also worked as a researcher for programs aired on ABC and SBS and as an Online content Editor for Thomson Reuters.
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Kind regards,


Karl Konrad  Managing Director


Jee Eun HAN, Executive Manager     

Australian Immigration Law Services

MARN: 9904238, 0850073 

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 At Australian Immigration Law Services (AILS), we offer professional advice and practical solutions to all migration matters. Our team of licensed agents and consultants specialise in various areas of immigration law, such as skilled migration, business, family, and reviews.










On the face of it most of the public would see the existence of the PIC 4020 law as a good thing. Would Australians have much sympathy for people who lie and cheat in their residency applications? Not really.


I wish it were as simple as that.


"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" was Lord Actin dictum back in the late 19th Century. 


How true these words echo on today.


Corruption is not just about public servants taking money as bribes to ensure certain outcomes are obtained, its also about the misuse of a law to achieve outcomes.


We have seen DIAC refuse 30 applicants at time just because they suspect there are too many references being issued at one restaurant. 


The PIC 4020 was power used to refuse them, not on the basis DIAC had any evidence that these references were false, simply on a suspicion.


When a law is used to justify refusals based upon suspicion, the system has been corrupted by those who use the PIC 4020 as a means to an end.


The end of course is to refuse as many applicants as possible DIAC thinks have lied in their applications. 


An honourable intention perhaps, but it must not be achieved at the expense  of fairness and an unbiased assessment.


DIAC's mentality is if they think applicants maybe dodgy, then just use PIC 4020 to refuse them. Even when evidence is presented to the applicants credibility, DIAC tends to ignore it and refuses anyway.


These cases then end up at the MRT and to be honest, it is a mix bag depending upon the Tribunal Member you end up with.


Some will look at all afresh and make up their own minds based upon the evidence presented. Some have already made up their minds before you begin.


The problem is that PIC 4020 can be misused by those are achieving their set objects and also by those who believe their subjective assessment has a right over the facts.


Now if it were based upon "burden of proof" then perhaps such abuse of the PIC 4020 would be held in check. 


In this case DIAC would be forced to conduct intelligent investigations where real evidence is gathered and presented.


Not too much to ask, is it? 


Karl Konrad

Managing Director 

Karl Konrad  


Han Photo with Jacket
Executive Manager
Jee Eun Han





Australian Immigration Law Services  

phone: 61 2 92791991 | fax: 61 2 9279 1994
email: | website: 


 Level 1, 36 Carrington Street Sydney NSW 2000

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