Refunds

Types of fees: refunds

Under certain defined circumstances as described in the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 8.3, passport fees may be refundable. A decision to not refund a passport fee is a reviewable decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48. See ‘ Appealing decisions ’.

A fee includes the:

Delegations to refund a fee

The Australian Passports Act 2005 – Authorisations and Delegations, Part 2, Item 19 specifies those positions which have the delegation for approving refunds of a fee under the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 8.3(1) - (6).

Application fee refund

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:

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.

Regulation 9 approval for the return of passport fees/refunds of passport fees

Regulation 9 delegates may approve refunds of passport fees/return of passport application monies in limited instances. These include:

Staff may wish to seek clarification from a delegate as listed in section 8.3 of the Australian Passports Act 2005 —Authorisations and Delegations 2011 when determining whether a regulation 9 delegate is appropriate.

Refunds and returns of passport fees which arise in the above instances must be coded in SAP as a debit to G/L 16005 Passport Fees or G/L 16015 Lost and Stolen Fees. Refunds which are approved by a delegate under the Australian Passports Act 2005, are to be coded as a debit to G/L 16505 Refund of Passport Fees or G/L 16515 Refund of Lost/Stolen Passport Fees.

Priority processing fee refund

Service standard not met

Service standard not met - priority processing fee refund

The PPF may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(2) (a) where:

Compassionate grounds

Compassionate - priority processing fee refund

The PPF may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(2)(b) where:

Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating or unusual circumstance - priority processing fee refund

The PPF may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(6) where:

Fee refund request

Fee refund request - priority processing

All claims for a refund of the PPF 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. Where the request is on compassionate grounds documentary evidence to support their case (e.g. a copy of a death certificate, funeral notice, or letter from a treating doctor of the person visited) must also be provided.

Lost/stolen fee refund

Outside of applicants control

Outside of applicants control: lost/stolen fee refund

The lost/stolen fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination Section 8.3(4) where:

Where a refund is approved the amount of the refund will be equal to the additional lost and stolen fee paid on the travel document for which the fee is paid.

Recovered passports

The lost/stolen fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(5) where:

Where a refund is approved the amount will be a one-off payment equivalent to the basic lost or stolen travel document fee. Any such payment does not affect the summing of lost and stolen travel documents over any subsequent periods for that individual.

The aim is to encourage the return of these travel documents so they can be physically cancelled and in so doing avoid the possibility of being used for illegal purposes.

Extenuating circumstances

The lost/stolen fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(6) where:

Fee refund request

Fee refund request – lost/stolen

All claims for a refund of a lost/stolen 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 may be made in a letter or on a B11 General Declaration form.

The applicant must submit their claim for refund in writing and provide the following details:

Appealing decisions

A decision to refuse to refund a fee is a reviewable decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48(j). When a request for a refund of a fee has been denied, the Manager is to advise the client in writing of their review rights.