– The Amendment to PIC 4020 (Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 2017) came into effect on November 18, 2017.
– On December 5, 2017, the amendment was disallowed
According to the Migration Institute Australia newsletter that we received per November 4, 2017, some amendments to immigration matters were scheduled in the Senate.
Administered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, one of the legislative instruments to be amended was what is called Public Interest Criterion or PIC 4020.
PIC 4020 enables refusal of a visa if an applicant provides a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to their application, or if the Minister is not satisfied of an applicant’s identity.
The DIBP wanted to amend this instrument to lengthen the legal time span and broaden its reach.
Prior to the planned amendment, a visa applicant who–under various circumstances–provides bogus documents or information that is fraudulent in nature has 12-months of “waiting period” before he or she can apply for another visa. The DIBP wanted to amend that waiting period slash immigration history to 10 years.
You got that right. 10 years. A decade. A 1000% increase.
An application lodged after November 18 may be refused if fraud was detected in any earlier application made within the previous 10 years.
No matter if that fraud was a result of deliberate actions driven by ill-intention; honest mistakes due to inaccurate information; or a result of misunderstanding, the outcome is the same. See you in 10 years!
One SBS article put it exactly spot on: It’s one strike and you’re out.
The reason why it’s outrageous is simple. A ten years period is simply a decade too long for most of (if not all) visa applicants. Given that PIC 4020 affects several visa subclasses, namely skilled migration visas, business visas, temporary visas, student visas and family visas, the impact of the amendment is tantamount to putting a ban for people at certain productive age to apply for Australian visa.
Which is of course, ridiculous. Why don’t they just do the latter?
According to the same SBS article:
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the longer time frame was designed to target fraudsters who actively “wait out” the year-long exclusion period before trying again.
The DIBP also insisted that, the change was “a necessary, reasonable and proportionate measure to protect the integrity of the visa framework” or, in the Greens’ Senator Nick McKim’s words, “a punitive and vindictive proposal from Peter Dutton that really is cracking a walnut with a massive sledgehammer.”
Why Things Like This Need to Stop
a. Is this plan has the potential of making life very difficult for many migrants and migrants to-be? (Not to mention for fellow Australians, namely the stakeholders of immigration niche such as migration agents, migration lawyers, employers of various business-size and niches etc)
b. Is the consequence of that policy can spin out of control given the vast spatial and temporal scopes it commands?
If the answers to both questions are affirmative, THEN announcing such changes in such an
arrogant overly-confident way (that they will pass) only to see them disallowed in a record-breaking time–a mere 17 days after being passed–is both unnecessary and embarrassing.
Someone needs to keep that in mind.
Migrants are not the enemy, economic-wise. So all deliberate actions to hamper their efforts in a none-too-subtle way like this, without being transparent to, nor involving, the stakeholders in the process of decision-making is just like confirming what the Senator Nick McKim had said above.