A visa applicant who fails to give correct answers in an approved form may have their visa cancelled11. The applicant answered ‘no’ to whether he was ‘related by blood’ to his partner. She was a first cousin, and the minister duly cancelled the visa.
Le argued that, even if forms are not legislative instruments12, the ordinary rules of interpretation apply when reading them. This was rejected. The court said (at ) there was no basis for applying those rules. Forms are not read with formality or complexity, but with a practical bent and without the need for legal research or advice. An incorrect answer was given and the visa was validly cancelled.
This case is from Episode 55 of interpretation NOW!
11 s 101 of the Migration Act 1958.
12 AIU17  FCA 520 (at [32-33]).