The Department of Home Affairs has, in recent years, significantly increased to penalties and consequences for providing “false or misleading information or documents” in applications for visas and Australian citizenship. The Department is very actively protecting the integrity of the visa and citizenship process and increasing numbers of people are finding themselves in difficulties over false or misleading information or documents given to the Department.
Providing false or misleading information or documents can lead to your application for a visa or Australian citizenship refused and you being prosecuted under the Migration Act of 1958 or the Citizenship Act of 2007.
If you have been granted a visa or Australian citizenship and it is later discovered that information or documents submitted in your visa or citizenship application were false or misleading, then your visa or Australian citizenship may be cancelled, and prosecution may also follow.
It is an extremely serious matter if you are given a letter from the Department stating that they believe you have supplied false or misleading information in your application. It can have devastating consequences for you and your family if your visa or Australian citizenship is cancelled. If you have a visa to which Public Interest Criterion 4020 applies refused then you, or a member of your family unit, may be refused any other visa application, for a visa with PIC 4020, for a period of three years.
It should be noted that it does not matter whether the false or misleading information or document was given knowingly or inadvertently, and it is also no defence to say “My lawyer or migration agent did the application and I had nothing to do with it.” That may seem harsh or unfair but the Australian Courts and Tribunals have consistently upheld the view that the visa applicant has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that everything in the application is genuine and true.
If you get a letter from the Department inviting you to comment on information or documents which the Department believes may be false, bogus or misleading and that the Department is considering refusing your visa application, get professional help straight away. All is not lost and there may be a way to salvage the situation.
We have a dedicated, experienced and professional team at Red Earth Migration who are committed to giving you the best and most cost-effective advice and assistance.
Call us and we will do our best to help you.