The Importance of Providing Identity Document in Visa Application

If you fail to provide identity documents as part of your visa application, it can implicate disastrous consequences on you.


Public Interest Criteria 4020 (“PIC 4020”)


PIC 4020 includes the following provisions:

(2A)  The applicant satisfies the Minister as to the applicant’s identity.


(2B)  The Minister is satisfied that during the period:


(a)  starting 10 years before the application was made; and

(b)  ending when the Minister makes a decision to grant or refuse to grant the visa;


neither the applicant, nor any member of the family unit of the applicant, has been

refused a visa because of a failure to satisfy the criteria in subclause (2A).



PIC 4020 applies to almost all temporary and permanent visas in Australia.

 It is important to note that there is no provision to waive the identity requirement under PIC 4020(2A). No matter how compassionate and compelling the circumstances might be, they will not prevent the refusal of a visa under PIC 4020(2A) or (2B).

Where the applicant is refused a visa on the basis that the Minister is not satisfied as to the person’s identity under PIC 4020(2A), in accordance with PIC 4020(2B), the person is subject to a 10 year ban where the applicant and any members of their family unit are unable to be granted any visa that requires them to satisfy PIC 4020.



The department policy indicates that the purpose of PIC 4020 is to strengthen the integrity of the migration program and deter identity fraud by introducing strict consequences where a visa application is refused because the applicant, or a member of their family unit, failed to satisfy the Minister as to their identity.

The burden of proving identity rests with the visa applicant such that if insufficient information/documents are provided, the visa application will be refused on this basis. Importantly, unlike the other PIC provisions within 4020(1) or (2), as mentioned above, there is no scope to waive 4020(2A) where the Minister is not “satisfied” as to the identity of an applicant.

While most visa applicants will be the person they claim to be, there are some people who may seek to apply for and be granted a visa by using a false identity or by changing some aspects of their identity. This could be, for example, in order to:

conceal their intentions in Australia, for example, commit crimes, carry out terrorist activities, obtain benefits fraudulently;

conceal that they have applied for and been refused visas previously or have an exclusion period in effect or have been deported from Australia; and

conceal their criminal history or escape criminal charges/arrest warrants in other countries or obtain a visa to which they may not be entitled if they were to apply in their true identity.


What is identity?


An individual who omits or falsifies one of the following in order to obtain an immigration outcome may be caught within the provisions of PIC 4020(2A):

  • name;

  • date of birth;

  • place of birth;

  • citizenship or nationality;

  • address; or

  • photograph.


If you have an issue in providing identity document, you may contact us by calling (02)-7200 2700 or email our receptionist to book in a time at if you need any legal advice or assistance.