A-16125, OCTOBER 30, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 313

A-16125: Oct 30, 1926

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FOREIGN SERVICE - VISA FEES ALIENS WHOSE PERMITS TO REENTER THE UNITED STATES EXPIRED BECAUSE PROPER AND TIMELY APPLICATION FOR RENEWAL HAD NOT BEEN MADE BY THEM AND WHO SECURED NONQUOTA IMMIGRATION VISAS IN LIEU THEREOF ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REFUND OF THE FEES PAID FOR THE VISAS. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER REFUND IS AUTHORIZED OF VISA FEES COLLECTED FROM MR. WHICH WERE SPECIFIED TO BE VALID FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF ISSUANCE. INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED OF THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT BATAVIA. THE REQUEST SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT SURABAYA. THE PERMITS AND THE EQUIVALENT IN GUILDERS OF THE NECESSARY FEES WERE FORWARDED TO THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL ABOUT SIX WEEKS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF EXPIRATION.

A-16125, OCTOBER 30, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 313

FOREIGN SERVICE - VISA FEES ALIENS WHOSE PERMITS TO REENTER THE UNITED STATES EXPIRED BECAUSE PROPER AND TIMELY APPLICATION FOR RENEWAL HAD NOT BEEN MADE BY THEM AND WHO SECURED NONQUOTA IMMIGRATION VISAS IN LIEU THEREOF ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REFUND OF THE FEES PAID FOR THE VISAS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OCTOBER 30, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23, 1926 (F.A.-811.11101-DORNAY, LOUIS), REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER REFUND IS AUTHORIZED OF VISA FEES COLLECTED FROM MR. AND MRS. LOUIS DORNAY, NETHERLAND CITIZENS, FOR NONQUOTA IMMIGRATION VISAS ISSUED IN LIEU OF EXPIRED PERMITS TO REENTER THE UNITED STATES.

IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES THE ALIENS NAMED ABOVE SECURED PERMITS TO REENTER THE UNITED STATES, WHICH WERE SPECIFIED TO BE VALID FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF ISSUANCE. PRIOR TO THE DATE OF EXPIRATION, INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED OF THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT BATAVIA, JAVA, AS TO THE PROCEDURE NECESSARY TO OBTAIN AN EXTENSION OF THE PERMITS. THE REQUEST SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT SURABAYA, JAVA, WHO ADVISED THAT UNDER THE REGULATIONS IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO FORWARD THE PERMITS TO THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C. THE PERMITS AND THE EQUIVALENT IN GUILDERS OF THE NECESSARY FEES WERE FORWARDED TO THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL ABOUT SIX WEEKS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF EXPIRATION. SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERMITS THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL RETURNED ONE OF THEM AND THE MONEY WITH THE INFORMATION THAT THE REQUEST FOR EXTENSION MUST BE SWORN TO BEFORE AN AMERICAN CONSULAR OFFICER AND THAT THE FEES MUST BE IN AMERICAN DOLLARS. SINCE THE PERMITS HAD EXPIRED, THE ALIENS THEN OBTAINED NONQUOTA IMMIGRATION VISAS AT A COST FOR FEES OF $20 IN ORDER TO REENTER THE UNITED STATES.

YOU URGE THAT REFUND OF THE VISA FEES SHOULD BE MADE ON THE GROUNDTHAT THE PAYMENT WAS MADE NECESSARY THROUGH AN ERROR OF THE CONSUL. THE CASES IN WHICH REFUND OF FEES CHARGED FOR VISAS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED ARE THOSE IN WHICH THERE HAD BEEN A DEFECT IN THE SERVICE RENDERED BY THE CONSULAR OFFICER OR IN WHICH FOR SOME REASON THE VISA WAS IMPROPERLY ISSUED. SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 518. THE INSTANT CASE DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE PRINCIPLE ABOVE STATED. THE VISAS WERE ISSUED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ALIENS, THE SERVICE WAS PROPERLY RENDERED BY THE CONSULAR OFFICER, AND THE PRIVILEGE CONFERRED BY THE VISAS WAS MADE AVAILABLE.

THE ACT OF MAY 26, 1924, 43 STAT. 153, 158, PROVIDES THAT AN ALIEN ABOUT TO DEPART TEMPORARILY FROM THE UNITED STATES MAY, ON A PROPER SHOWING, SECURE A PERMIT TO REENTER. IT IS ALSO PROVIDED THAT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN SAID PERMIT MAY BE EXTENDED UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS. THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBE THAT APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION SHALL BE FILED IN WRITING UNDER OATH PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE VALIDITY OF THE ORIGINAL PERMIT. SEE SUBDIVISION C OF RULE 24 OF THE RULES OF JULY 1, 1925, OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION. SUBDIVISION D OF RULE 24 PRESCRIBES THAT A FEE OF $3 SHALL ACCOMPANY THE APPLICATION WHICH, WHEN REMITTED FROM ABROAD, SHALL BE MADE BY INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDER OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE ON A BANK IN THE UNITED STATES AND PAYABLE IN AMERICAN DOLLARS. SUBDIVISION F OF RULE 24 PRESCRIBES THAT THE OATH WHEN EXECUTED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY AN AMERICAN CONSULAR OFFICER.

THE ALIENS IN THE CASE SUBMITTED WERE CHARGEABLE WITH NOTICE OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF LAW AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THEM, AND AT THE TIME OF PROCURING THE ORIGINAL PERMITS THEY COULD, ON INQUIRY, HAVE BEEN MADE ACQUAINTED WITH THE PROCEDURE NECESSARY TO OBTAIN AN EXTENSION OF THE PERMIT TO REENTER THE UNITED STATES.

SINCE THE SERVICE FOR WHICH THE VISA FEES WERE PAID WAS PROPERLY RENDERED BY THE AMERICAN CONSULAR OFFICER, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF SUCH FEES. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.