Bogus Documents – PIC 4020: Fed Court says Strict, Absolutely!

In the recent decision of   Singh v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2018) FCAFC 52 (5 April 2018) The Court held that: “it was open to the AAT to find that the applicant had, at the very least, caused the bogus document (or false and misleading information) to be given to the Department because he was content to have his brother-in-law act as his intermediary”.

The Court also concluded that PIC 4020 applies even where “a visa applicant provides a non-bogus document to a migration agent or other intermediary, and the migration agent or intermediary alters the document in a way which renders it a bogus document for the purposes of the legislative scheme, and then provides that bogus document to the Department acting on behalf of the visa applicant”.

That is the Court held here was that even where an applicant provides a set of supporting documents to an “intermediary” – whether a migration agent or other person – and then that intermediary alters the document to render it “bogus” within the meaning of the Act  – then PIC 4020 is nonetheless engaged.

The court also held that in circumstances where the applicant had given his application materials to his brother-in-law to submit to the migration agent, where the applicant did not himself have any “direct contact” with the agent, and where the applicant had acknowledged that he had “submitted” his application:  “it was reasonably open to the AAT to find that the (applicant) provided to the Department the documents in support of his visa application, including the bogus document”.

Consequently the court has held that PIC 4020 does in fact create a regime of absolute and strict liability, that is an applicant will be held accountable for every document that is submitted to the Department, even where an “intermediary” creates a bogus document and the applicant has had no role whatsoever in creating the bogus document or sending it to the Department.

So if you or anyone you know has had a visa refused or a visa cancelled due to PIC 4020 or “Bogus Documents” make an appointment with a Master Migration Lawyer.

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Call 03 9614 0218 or email info@arlaw.com.au to make an initial 30 Minute consultation at our Melbourne office. (conditions apply)

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Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page