A-60459, AUGUST 1, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 93

A-60459: Aug 1, 1935

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NO REFUND OF THE FEE IS AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH THE VISA IS NEVER ISSUED. THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 16. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE THE HONOR TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THE DEPARTMENT'S INSTRUCTION OF APRIL 8. CABUTTO AND AGNES CABUTTO FOR VISAS WHICH WERE NEVER ISSUED. 1935) DOES NOT SHOW THE REASON WHY THE VISAS WERE NOT ISSUED AND REQUESTING THAT THE FACTS IN THIS CONNECTION BE FURNISHED. IN REPLY I HAVE THE HONOR TO REPORT THAT. THE VISAS WERE NEVER ISSUED DUE IN PART TO THE ILLNESS OF THE LATE CONSUL SPRAGUE. TO THE FACT THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE APPLICANTS TO EVENTUALLY GO TO THE UNITED STATES OWING TO THE APPARENT LACK OF FUNDS BROUGHT BY THE ILLNESS OF A MEMBER OF THEIR FAMILY.

A-60459, AUGUST 1, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 93

REFUND OF IMMIGRATION VISA FEES IF THE SERVICE HAS BEEN RENDERED BY A CONSULAR OFFICER FOR WHICH THERE HAS BEEN COLLECTED THE STATUTORY FEE OF $1 FOR FURNISHING AND VERIFYING AN APPLICATION FOR AN IMMIGRATION VISA, NO REFUND OF THE FEE IS AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH THE VISA IS NEVER ISSUED, BUT THERE MAY BE REFUNDED THE STATUTORY FEE OF $9 COLLECTED FOR ISSUANCE OF THE VISA.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 1, 1935:

IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1935 (FA-191 1208), REGARDING THE REQUEST OF THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT GIBRALTAR FOR AUTHORITY TO REFUND TO F. CABUTTO AND AGNES CABUTTO, THE SUM OF $10 EACH UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN HIS LETTER OF JANUARY 25, 1935, THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 16, 1935, ENCLOSING COPY OF AN ADDITIONAL DISPATCH DATED APRIL 27, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THE DEPARTMENT'S INSTRUCTION OF APRIL 8, 1935, FILE NO. 191/-1212, CONCERNING THE COLLECTION OF FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF $10.00 EACH FROM F. CABUTTO AND AGNES CABUTTO FOR VISAS WHICH WERE NEVER ISSUED, ENCLOSING A COPY OF A LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL STATING THAT THIS CONSULATE'S DESPATCH (NO. 19, OF JANUARY 25, 1935) DOES NOT SHOW THE REASON WHY THE VISAS WERE NOT ISSUED AND REQUESTING THAT THE FACTS IN THIS CONNECTION BE FURNISHED; AND DIRECTING THIS OFFICE IN COMPLIANCE THEREWITH TO FURNISH FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE COLLECTION OF THE FEES FOR TRANSMISSION TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL.

IN REPLY I HAVE THE HONOR TO REPORT THAT, ACCORDING TO INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY MR. WILLIAM CANTO, SENIOR CLERK OF THIS CONSULATE, THE VISAS WERE NEVER ISSUED DUE IN PART TO THE ILLNESS OF THE LATE CONSUL SPRAGUE, AND TO THE FACT THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE APPLICANTS TO EVENTUALLY GO TO THE UNITED STATES OWING TO THE APPARENT LACK OF FUNDS BROUGHT BY THE ILLNESS OF A MEMBER OF THEIR FAMILY.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE, AS STATED BY MR. CANTO AND OBTAINED FROM THE OFFICE RECORDS, APPEAR TO BE AS FOLLOWS:---

"ON SEPTEMBER 18, 1934, MISS FEDORA CABUTTO, ACCOMPANIED BY HER MINOR ILLEGITIMATE DAUGHTER AGNES CABUTTO, CALLED AT THIS OFFICE AND EXPRESSED THE DESIRE TO OBTAIN IMMIGRATION VISAS FOR BOTH FOR THE PURPOSE OF GOING TO THE UNITED STATES TO JOIN RELATIVES. THE CONSULATE ON THE SAME DAY WROTE TO THE QUOTA CONTROL OFFICE IN LONDON REQUESTING THE ALLOTMENT OF TWO NONPREFERENCE QUOTA NUMBERS FOR THEIR USE, AND ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1934, RECEIVED BY TELEGRAPHS NOS. 4357 AND 4358 FOR USE DURING THE SAME MONTH.

"THE APPLICATION FORMS FOR THE VISAS WERE PREPARED ON SEPTEMBER 26, 1934, BUT SINCE AT THE TIME CONSUL SPRAGUE WAS ALREADY SERIOUSLY ILL, THEY COULD NOT BE COMPLETED, AND IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IF THE QUOTA NUMBERS ALLOTTED WERE NOT USED IN SEPTEMBER THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE RETURNED TO LONDON, THE CONSULATE CONSIDERED IT ADVISABLE, AFTER COLLECTING THE FEES, TO ENTER THE TWO VISAS AS IF GRANTED UNDER THAT DATE IN THE RECORD OF FEES, AND ISSUE THEM WHEN CONSUL SPRAGUE RECOVERED FROM HIS ILLNESS.

"HOWEVER, A FEW DAYS AFTER THE APPLICATION FORMS HAD BEEN PREPARED THE ELDEST SISTER OF MISS F. CABUTTO HAD TO BE OPERATED ON FOR APPENDICITIS, AND SINCE IT APPEARS AS THOUGH SHE (MISS CABUTTO) HAD TO BEAR THE EXPENSE OF THE OPERATION, THEREBY SPENDING PRACTICALLY ALL THE MONEY WHICH HAD BEEN SENT TO HER FROM AMERICA FOR THE JOURNEY OF BOTH HERSELF AND HER DAUGHTER, SHE WAS FORCED FOR THE TIME BEING TO GIVE UP THE IDEA OF GOING TO THE UNITED STATES, AND SO ADVISED THIS OFFICE SOMETIME LATER.

"I TRUST THAT THE ABOVE CLEARLY EXPLAINS THE FACTS IN THE MATTER, AND THAT AS A RESULT THEREOF THIS CONSULATE WILL BE AUTHORIZED TO REFUND THE $20.00 TO THE PERSONS MENTIONED.'

SECTIONS 2 (A) (IN PART) AND (H), AND 7 (A) AND (H) OF THE ACT OF MAY 26, 1924, 43 STAT. 153, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. (A) A CONSULAR OFFICER UPON THE APPLICATION OF ANY IMMIGRANT (AS DEFINED IN SECTION 3) MAY (UNDER THE CONDITIONS HEREINAFTER PRESCRIBED AND SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED IN THIS ACT OR REGULATIONS MADE THEREUNDER AS TO THE NUMBER OF IMMIGRATION VISAS WHICH MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH OFFICER) ISSUE TO SUCH IMMIGRANT AN IMMIGRATION VISA WHICH SHALL CONSIST OF ONE COPY OF THE APPLICATION PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 7, VISAED BY SUCH CONSULAR OFFICER. * * *

(H) A FEE OF $9 SHALL BE CHARGED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF EACH IMMIGRATION VISA, WHICH SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

SEC. 7 (A) EVERY IMMIGRANT APPLYING FOR AN IMMIGRATION VISA SHALL MAKE APPLICATION THEREFOR IN DUPLICATE IN SUCH FORM AS SHALL BE BY REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED.

(H) A FEE OF $1 SHALL BE CHARGED FOR THE FURNISHING AND VERIFICATION OF EACH APPLICATION, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE THE FURNISHING AND VERIFICATION OF THE DUPLICATE, AND SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

THUS, THE FEE OF $1 AND THE FEE OF $9 ARE PROVIDED FOR SEPARATE AND DISTINCT SERVICES. THE FORMER IS FOR FURNISHING AND VERIFYING THE APPLICATION FOR AN IMMIGRATION VISA. THE LATTER IS FOR ACTUAL ISSUANCE OF THE VISA. THE FACTS DISCLOSED SHOW THAT THE FIRST SERVICE, IN WHICH THERE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN NO DEFECT, WAS COMPLETED BY THE CONSULAR OFFICER AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE FEE OF $1 IN EACH CASE WAS EARNED BY THE UNITED STATES AND MAY NOT BE REFUNDED. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 306, AS TO FEES FOR VISAING IDENTIFICATION AFFIDAVITS FOR CHINESE MERCHANTS; ALSO 10 COMP. GEN. 240; ID. 364.

HOWEVER, THE SECOND SERVICE FOR FINAL ISSUANCE OF THE VISA WAS NOT COMPLETED, THE FEE OF $9 IN EACH CASE WAS NOT EARNED BY THE UNITED STATES AND MAY BE REFUNDED.

THIS CASE IS TO BE DISTINGUISHED FROM THE ONE CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF MAY 9, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 480, WHEREIN BOTH FEES IN QUESTION WERE AUTHORIZED TO BE REFUNDED FOR THE REASON THAT THE ORIGINAL APPLICATION FOR THE VISA WAS MADE BECAUSE OF AN ERRONEOUS AND UNWARRANTED DEMAND BY UNITED STATES OFFICIALS.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT OF $18 ONLY MAY BE REFUNDED BY THE CONSULAR OFFICER UPON TAKING PROPER VOUCHERS THEREFOR IN FULL SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS FOR REFUNDS, SAID VOUCHERS TO BE FILED WITH THE ACCOUNT IN WHICH CREDIT FOR THE REFUNDS IS CLAIMED.