Since 19th of January, International Students and Working Holiday Visa holders have been eligible for a refund of their visa application charge (VAC) if, The visa holder is offshore and arrives to Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022.
The VAC refund also includes secondary visa holders, which means any student or working holidaymaker who has left Australia in the past and is willing to travel back and support the Australian Economic Recovery. However, how are international students getting their refunds?
In the following section, we will explain step by step what students need to do to lodge a refund request, along with the extensive eligibility criteria and the most updated answers for the commonly asked questions.
Are you eligible for a refund?
For Students, you will be eligible for a refund of the visa application charge paid in relation to that visa if:
- you hold a valid Student visa (subclasses 500, 560, 571, 572, 573, 574 or 575) , and
- arrive in Australia on that visa between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022.
Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa holders will be eligible for a refund of the VAC paid in relation to that visa if they:
- hold a valid Working Holiday Maker visa (subclasses 417 or 462); and
- arrive in Australia on that visa between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022.
You do not need to lodge your claim immediately. If you hold a Student or WHM visa, and you arrive within the specified period, you will be eligible for a refund.
You will not receive a refund automatically. You must make a claim using the Students and WHM refunds form.
Please note that You can make a claim any time up until 31 December 2022.
Getting a refund
Please note that visa application charges are paid to the Australian Immigration Department to assess the visa application, so you won’t get a refund just because your application was unsuccessful.
Students and Holiday Makers still need to pay their visa fees, and it is after they have arrived in Australia they can request a refund of those funds. Students who reverse the application payment might have,
- Their application becoming invalid
- Their application being cancelled
- a confirmed debt with the Australian Commonwealth. This debt might affect the outcome of a future visa application.
How can someone get the visa fee refunded?
If you submitted your application through ImmiAccount or paid through ImmiAccount
Follow these steps to check the status of your payment:
- Log into your ImmiAccount
- Go to ‘Manage Payments’ in the ‘My Payments’ drop-down tab
- The payment status will be displayed
- If the payment status in ImmiAccount is:
- ‘Credit’ then select the ‘Request Refund’ option from the actions menu
- ‘Paid’ you will need to complete Form 1424 – Refund request (461KB PDF). Send the completed form to the office processing your application. If you do not know your processing office then send the completed form to your nearest office.
If you didn’t submit your application or make a payment through ImmiAccount
How long will the refund take?
There is no standard time for processing refund requests. Each claim must be individually assessed under relevant administrative or legislative authority.
What supporting documentation do you need to provide?
• Clear and well-supported reasons for requesting a refund, including Government Announcement. Attach any supporting documents or statements.
• If your application was lodged over the internet, a bank statement clearly listing the name on the account and the payment must be provided. Do not show credit card number on-line or via email.
• If your application was lodged at a counter or by mail, attach the original receipt. If you do not have the original receipt you must attach a Statutory Declaration, declaring that you have either lost or misplaced the receipt and that you have not used the receipt to lodge a further application.
How will the refund be made?
If the refund request is successful, you will be paid the approved amount directly to the bank account used to make the original payment. The method of payment preferred by the Department is electronic funds transfer (EFT). Alternatively, depending on your location, the Department may make the refund by another payment method.
What happened with anyone who were unable to travel to, or who departed from Australia early because of COVID-19 restrictions
You can only apply for a refund of your Visa Application Charges, in the following cases,
- Prospective Marriage (subclass 300)
- Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme (subclass 403)
- Working Holiday Maker (subclass 417)
- Work and Holiday (subclass 462)
For more information about Refunds and waivers of Visa Application Charges, visit immigration Website.