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Australian Immigration Law blog

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Be Careful! "Invitation to a Hearing" Emails from the AAT may include an "Invitation to Comment or Respond"!

In recent weeks I have noticed that the Invitation to a hearing at the AAT, apart from including details of the hearing date and time as well as the Member now appear, on a regular basis, to include an "Invitation to comment or respond".

The failure to respond to the "invitation to comment or respond" within the time frame specified, which may or may not be the date of the hearing,can lock your client out of a merits review at the AAT who, absent a reply can proceed to determine the Application "on the papers".

Previously it was the practice of the AAT to issue a standalone "Invitation to Comment or Respond" which very clearly set out what information was required and when.

The incorporation of the "Invitation to comment and respond" in a listing notice may go unnoticed by a busy practitioner and may have catastrophic consequences for the client.

Be CAREFUL! (This is particularly risky at this time of year as both the AAT and Immigration gear up for the end of the year...every case you have unresolved today may be the subject of an email or notice between now and Christmas, keep your eyes peeled!)

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  • Owen Harris
    Owen Harris Monday, 11 November 2019

    Thank you Chris. We ALMOST fell into this trap recently. Luckily my staff are more detail focused than I otherwise this could potentially have been fatal. I think that where they want comment they should make it VERY clear that this is more than just a hearing date call.

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