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Australian Citizenship Amendment (Refund of Fees) Regulations 2023

Overview of the Disallowable Legislative Instrument

The Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (the Citizenship Act) provides for the process of becoming an Australian citizen, the circumstances in which citizenship may cease, and other related matters.

Section 54 of the Citizenship Act provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters required or permitted by the Citizenship Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed, for carrying out or giving effect to the Citizenship Act. Paragraph 46(1)(d) of the Citizenship Act provides that an application made under that Act must be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the regulations.

The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Refund of Fees) Regulations 2023 amends the Australian Citizenship Regulation 2016 (the Citizenship Regulation) to provide for the relevant refund amounts under section 17 of the Citizenship Regulation to be calculated with reference to relevant items in Schedule 3 to the Citizenship Regulation rather than express dollar amounts.

This amendment addresses consequential amendments that were not covered by Australian Citizenship Amendment (Indexation of Citizenship Application Fees) Regulations 2023 (the Amendment Regulations). While the Amendment Regulations effected increases to citizenship fees on 1 July 2023 by way of amendments to Schedule 3 to the Citizenship Regulation, amendments were not similarly made to section 17 to reflect a consequential change to provide, where applicable, for a refund of the proportion of the fee that represents the component of the fee that relates to the sitting of a citizenship test.

The amendments of this instrument to subsections 17(4), (5), (6) and (7) of the Citizenship Regulation remove the express dollar figure and instead ensure that the correct amount is refundable in line with the 1 July 2023 fee changes of the Amendment Regulations.

Where payment of a citizenship application fee included a credit card surcharge or Paypal surcharge, the Amendment Regulations also provide that the proportion of the refund of the surcharge is equal to the proportion that the refund amount is of the relevant fee specified in Schedule 3 to the Regulation.

 Australian-Citizenship-Amendment-Refund-of-Fees-Regulations-2023.pdf and Australian-Citizenship-Amendment-Refund-of-Fees-Regulations-2023-Explanatory-Statement.pdf

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