Can changes to TOA criteria after application is made affect eligibility?

Obviously, "time of application" (TOA) provisions set out the criteria applicants must meet with reference to the time of application. However, can TOA provisions change after an application is made in a way that impacts the applicant's eligibility? Readers might be surprised with the answer.

It is trivial that if a given legislative provision states that a person must satisfy that criterion at the time of application (TOA), decision-makers must determine whether that criterion was satisfied with reference to the time of the application. For instance, a TOA criterion might read as follows: "the applicant had competent English at the time of application". In effect, all that provision requires is that the person had competent English at the time of the application.

Does the above mean that, at the time a decision-maker is making a decision, the provision that applies concerning the level of English expected of an applicant at the TOA is necessarily the same as that which was in force at the time of application? Not necessarily...

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