When am I out of time?

How long is a year? A month? Or even a day? Simple chronological questions can cause massive headaches for lawyers who must grapple with the fact that, for example, a month from the 15th of January to the 15th of February is 3 days longer than a month from the 15th of February to the 15th of March. Or that a person earning $1,000/week will earn significantly more than a person earning $4,000/month.

One of our migration lawyers at Nevile & Co. recently represented a client who was required to pass an English proficiency test in the 3 years immediately before submitting his application. He passed his test on the 3rd of August 2013, but lodged his application on the 4th of August 2016. His visa was refused by the Department for being out of time.

Action was taken against the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to get this decision overturned. You might already be thinking about factoring in leap years, or dates falling on weekends, but the Member overturned the visa refusal based on the Acts Interpretation Act 1901. Yes, that’s right, we have a 120-year-old law telling us how to read other laws.

That Act tells us that, for example, if you are required to do something 7 days before a certain date, that 7-day period does not include the final date. So, if your partner says you need to buy your kid a present in the year before their birthday, you have exactly one calendar year before that day – including their previous birthday. Which is great if the toy store is offering 2 for the price of 1.

The visa refusal was overturned, our client was overjoyed, and everyone involved quickly emailed their landlords asking to pay rent monthly instead of weekly.

For further information or enquiry on the above, please contact us