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Refunds Available for Australia & New Zealand VISAs?

My husband & I had a trip to Australia & New Zealand planned for later this month & of course, now it is cancelled due to the Corona Virus. I have been trying to cancel & get refunds for our flights, hotels & train transportation w/varying degrees of success. Looks like we'll be losing several thousands..

Currently though, I'm having problems trying to find out if we'll get any refund for our VISAs to the two countries. Anyone know how to apply for a refund with these countries.
Thanks for your assistance, Debbie

Posted by
2456 posts

Is your visa a NZeTA visa? If so, I think it is good for 2 years so maybe leave it in place for a future/do over trip? We returned from our AU and NZ trip in February and I was glad to see that the visa can be used for more entrances and exits for the life of the visa should we have the opportunity to return. It was a wonderful trip even though virus was becoming more widespread in other countries during the month we were there.

Posted by
16745 posts

Having applied for other visas in the past, my guess would be that these are not refundable items. The fee is mostly for the processing, which has already been done. Some also have a fairly long use-by window. I don’t know whether yours are date-specific or could be extended, but that’s the most I would hope for.

Posted by
2904 posts

Here is the link to the form for Australia. Note refunds are only given rarely. They state the fee is for processing the application which they have done.

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/1424.pdf

Here is the form for New Zealand. They have the same statements on their website that there are no refunds for processed applications.

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/documents/forms-and-guides/inz1182.pdf

I would not hold out too much hope for this.

Posted by
155 posts

You applied for and just received your new passport. But now you aren't taking your trip. Do you get a refund on your passport that you aren't going to be using now? Same thing.

Posted by
63 posts

Thanks for the responses. I understand about the processing fees.
Guess I am just so disappointed about not being able to go on the trip. All of the time spent planning had been wasted. Who knows if we ever try to go there again?

Posted by
2762 posts

Debbie, I assume that you're not losing anything on your flights at least, since they've presumably been cancelled by the airline.

Posted by
63 posts

Actually it appears that we will lose money on our flights from New Zealand to Australia. The airline will not refund out money, even though we booked via Orbitz. Same thing with the hotel in Sydney.

Posted by
1 posts

I am currently in Perth Western Australia. As an American on a tourist visa we are told to leave asap. We are restricted because of flights available. Australia visa applications are non refundable. A tourist ETA visa is good for one year with stays of only 3 months during that time period. You can leave and come back for another 3 months stay during the year. The ETA visa can only be applied for outside Australia. Once here it cannot be extended. These are hard times around the world and I advise Americans to stay home. Australia and New Zealand have closed their doors to protect their residents.

Posted by
155 posts

Debbie, did you try to cancel with the airline or Orbitz? As you booked with a third party you need to cancel with them. Depending on the type of tickets you have you might want to wait and see if the airline cancels on you. Then you will receive a full refund.

Posted by
422 posts

OP- are you trying to cancel your flights or has the airline cancelled them? There is a huge difference. If the airline cancels you get your money back (as to flights to and from the US). If you cancel, that is a different story and your booking conditions apply.

Posted by
142 posts

I totally understand. We were headed to Australia in a couple weeks on our dream trip. We booked, with a travel agent, our international tickets and that flight has been cancelled, started the process last week to ask for a refund from the airfare through travel agent. Travel insurance is non refundable and we are working to see if the dates are transferrable. No idea when we can go and will the policy cover illness from coronavirus if it happens now. The 3 of 4 domestic Australian flights have been cancelled. Qantas will only give me a credit that has to be used by 12/5/2020. I can't imagine the borders being open by then. Virgin Australia still has not told me the terms and conditions of the credit for the two flights they canceled, they will not give me a refund. Ayers Rock Resort is offering no cash, just credit until 12/31/21, the most generous timeline but not entirely helpful now. They want me to reschedule immediately, no way to pick a date. I did get one hotel refund and I didn't even ask, they sent me an email saying they were processing the refund after the government shut them down. The Visa's are the least expensive thing on the list. I am sorry we are all going through this.

Posted by
422 posts

The airline flying you from and back to the US has to refund you. Your travel agent should be aware of this and pursuing it. The internal domestic flights in Australia are a different matter and subject to your terms of carriage and any Australian governmental directives/regulations.

Posted by
63 posts

Luckily Hawaiian AIrlines has promised to return our monies for the flights to New Zealand & Australia. All but one hotel in Sydney has promised to return most of our monies. Today we got an Email from Orbitz that we will receive an "airline credit" (whatever that means???) For our flight from Queenstown to Sydney.

We still do not know how much money we will.lose or get refunded. Still wish we could have taken the trip.

Posted by
70 posts

@northwestern Noon Thurs

I am sorry that your trip has been cancelled. The places you had planned to visit during autumn are normally a magical experience.

The following is not to be construed as an offer to intercede on your behalf with any contracts you may have.

(Disclosure I am a Qantas shareholder and frequent flyer)

As to your Qantas bookings I suggest the following:

It appears you have booked theses flights through an agent or other party; you need to work with them. They may have bulk booked and have other conditions with Qantas.

If you booked directly with Qantas, the information you posted does not align with information on the Australian website. May I suggest you navigate to the Australian website. Top of the website is a link to a page which outlines 4 scenarios. Read carefully and determine which one you fit, then follow the instructions. I am being offered credits on both domestic and international bookings for use until 31st Dec 2021. My frequent flyer and one world status have already been extended to 31st Dec 2021.

Qantas is a well-run airline. It is not owned by the Australian government. Has indicated to financial markets here that It has cash reserves and line of credit to see it through. Has not approached shareholders for a capital injection. It is not begging the federal government for a bailout. Seems quite unique in the aviation world.

Please be patient and nice with Ayers Rock Resort. I think this resort is managed by an indigenous organisation and procedures are probably different and may take some time to work out.

In respect of Virgin, it also depends on whether you booked with an agent or direct with the airline.

From press statements it appears that Virgin Australia has the government of Singapore and at least a couple of billionaires as shareholders. They are begging for a government bailout. The reasons being that the country needs the competition and they want cheap monies. Noting the shareholders, not a lot of sympathy currently.

Hopefully this points you in the right direction. You can always ask for help.

Australia and New Zealand are doing alright and will be here for you if you decide to try again, probably well into next year.

@Debbie. Don’t think any country refunds visa monies. Many hotels in Sydney are owned overseas, principally the USA or nearby tax havens where refund and other policies are set.

Regards Ron