The issue that the code was required to decide in this case was if a valid visa application has been made. According to the Regulation 2.10 of the Migration Regulations, it is required that a particular visa application has to be made "at the office of immigration in Australia". In this case, the visa application made by the applicant reads the GPO box by express post before the relevant deadline expired. However the department did not collect the visa application until the deadline for the same has been expired. Therefore, the court was required to decide if the GPO box of the department can be considered as the "office of immigration" or if it can be considered as a part of the office of immigration. At the same time, if GPO box cannot be considered as the office of immigration, it was required to be decided if the applicant has substantially complied with the requirement.
As a result, the Court accepted the submission of the applicant that even if GPO box cannot be considered as a stand-alone office of the Department for the purpose of regulation 2.10, it needs to be considered as a part of the office of the Department of Immigration. As a result, it was stated by the court that the GPO box can be considered as an 'Office of Immigration' and therefore, it can be said that the application that has been received in the GPO box needs to be considered as an application that has been made at the office of Immigration.
Australia Post in case of all the Express Post envelops that have been lodged correctly on a business day. In this regard, the manager of ACDC also gave evidence that the GPO box number 2399 in Adelaide has been leased by the Department of immigration from Australia Post. All the items arriving at the ACDC were scanned on their arrival and then these items were transferred to the relevant area and sorted so that they can be sent to their destinations, including the post office boxes. It was also stated that once an item has been placed in the post office box, it is not any more under the control of Australia Post. At the same time, an employee of a company named Converga gave evidence that they had a contract with the Department of Immigration and collected mail from ACDC every day and delivered it to the department. This evidence was considered as sufficient to rebut the contention of the Minister of Immigration that no sufficient evidence is present which can establish that the GPO box of the department has a stable physical presence like a 'place'. As a result, the court stated that the GPO box can be considered as a place which can be leased and where mail can be delivered physically and at the same time it can be collected from this place.
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