An application fee (or lodgement fee) is generally non-refundable, however, provision exists under the Australian Passports Determination, 2005 Section 8.3 (6) to allow for the refund of an application fee due to extenuating or unusual circumstances. A decision not to issue a passport is generally not considered to be an extenuating or unusual circumstance.
Extenuating or unusual circumstances: application fee refund
The application fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, 2005 Section 8.3 (6) where:
- The applicant dies after lodgement of application but before the travel document is dispatched.
- The applicant’s proposed travel is cancelled at short notice due to the death or serious illness of an immediate family member and the travel document was sought principally for the proposed travel.
- The applicant has been diagnosed with a terminal illness subsequent to lodgement that would prohibit international travel.
- The applicant is found to hold an existing valid travel document subsequent to lodgement and the applicant was not aware of the valid travel document at time of lodgement.
- The applicant is found to not be an Australian Citizen after lodgement and the applicant was genuinely unaware that they are not an Australian Citizen.
- Where both parents originally gave consent for a child’s application but one parent subsequently withdraws their consent during the processing of the application.
- The applicant is seeking to replace their valid passport as they have changed their name as part of the transitioning process to their preferred gender and can provide evidence from their medical practitioner confirming they are in the process of transitioning.
All claims for a refund of an application fee must be in writing to the Manager, Australian Passports Office in the capital city of the applicant’s state or territory of residence. If overseas, the claim for refund must be in writing to the Consul at the Australian mission where the application was lodged. The claim should provide the applicant’s full name, passport number and the date/place of lodgement of the application and include details supporting the claim. The Passport Office (usually the Passport Manager) will assess the claim and if considered that a refund is appropriate will refer the claim to the delegate for approval.