A-81439, JANUARY 12, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 646

A-81439: Jan 12, 1937

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FEES - VISAS - REFUNDS - UNDATED PASSPORTS WHERE A VISA WAS ISSUED BY A CONSULAR OFFICER UPON REQUEST AND THE PRIVILEGE CONFERRED BY THE VISA WAS MADE AVAILABLE. THE FACT THAT THE BENEFIT THEREOF WAS LOST TO THE ALIEN DUE TO THE ACTION OF THE BRITISH PASSPORT OFFICE IN ISSUING A NEW PASSPORT TO HER TO REPLACE THE ONE WHICH BORE NO DATE. IT NOT APPEARING THAT THE VISA OF A PASSPORT ON WHICH NO DATE OF EXPIRATION IS SHOWN IS INVALID OR IN CONTRAVENTION OF ANY LAW OR REGULATION. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A COPY OF A DESPATCH FROM THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT EDINBURGH. SINCE THE VISA WHICH WAS ISSUED TO MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN BECAME INVALID THROUGH THE ACTION OF THE BRITISH PASSPORT OFFICE IN ISSUING A NEW PASSPORT TO HER TO REPLACE ONE WHICH WAS DEFECTIVE IN THAT IT DID NOT BEAR ANY DATE OF EXPIRATION.

A-81439, JANUARY 12, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 646

FEES - VISAS - REFUNDS - UNDATED PASSPORTS WHERE A VISA WAS ISSUED BY A CONSULAR OFFICER UPON REQUEST AND THE PRIVILEGE CONFERRED BY THE VISA WAS MADE AVAILABLE, THE FACT THAT THE BENEFIT THEREOF WAS LOST TO THE ALIEN DUE TO THE ACTION OF THE BRITISH PASSPORT OFFICE IN ISSUING A NEW PASSPORT TO HER TO REPLACE THE ONE WHICH BORE NO DATE, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE REFUND OF THE FEES PAID THEREFOR, IT NOT APPEARING THAT THE VISA OF A PASSPORT ON WHICH NO DATE OF EXPIRATION IS SHOWN IS INVALID OR IN CONTRAVENTION OF ANY LAW OR REGULATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JANUARY 12, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 28, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A COPY OF A DESPATCH FROM THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, IN REGARD TO A REQUEST FOR THE REFUND OF FEES PAID BY MRS. BEATRICE KINSEY-MORGAN FOR A VISA WHICH SHE RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1936.

SINCE THE VISA WHICH WAS ISSUED TO MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN BECAME INVALID THROUGH THE ACTION OF THE BRITISH PASSPORT OFFICE IN ISSUING A NEW PASSPORT TO HER TO REPLACE ONE WHICH WAS DEFECTIVE IN THAT IT DID NOT BEAR ANY DATE OF EXPIRATION, IT IS BELIEVED THAT A REFUND OF THE FEES PAID BY MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED.

ALTHOUGH THE CONSUL INDICATES THAT HIS OFFICE WAS NOT AT FAULT IN THE MATTER, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PROPER FOR THE CONSULAR OFFICER, BEFORE PLACING THE VISA ON THE PASSPORT, TO HAVE MADE INQUIRY REGARDING THE APPARENT INCOMPLETENESS OF THE PASSPORT THROUGH FAILURE TO INCLUDE THE CUSTOMARY DATE OF EXPIRATION. IN THIS SENSE THE CONSULATE WAS IN ERROR IN NOT SEEING THAT THE APPLICANT HAD A REGULAR PASSPORT FOR USE AS A TRAVELER AS IS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS.

IT IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT AUTHORIZATION BE GIVEN FOR REFUNDING TO MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN THE FEES AMOUNTING TO $10.00 WHICH WERE COLLECTED BY THE CONSULATE IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF THE VISA WHICH SHE RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1936.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE VISA WAS ISSUED ARE SET FORTH IN THE DESPATCH OF THE AMERICAN COUNSUL AT EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, DATED SEPTEMBER 17, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO REPORT THAT THIS OFFICE ISSUED A TEMPORARY VISITOR'S VISA ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1936, UNDER SECTION 3 (2) OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT OF 1924 TO MRS. BEATRICE KINSEY-MORGAN, BEARER OF A BRITISH PASSPORT (NO. LO 25885) ISSUED AT LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1936. AS THE PASSPORT OFFICE HAD FAILED TO INSERT THE DATE OF EXPIRATION ON THE PASSPORT MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN RETURNED THE PASSPORT WHEREON THE PASSPORT OFFICE CUT OFF HER PHOTOGRAPH AND ATTACHED IT TO A NEW PASSPORT WITHOUT NOTING, AS IT SO INFORMED THIS CONSULATE, THAT A VISA HAD BEEN AFFIXED.

THE CONSULATE ISSUED MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN A NEW VISA THIS MORNING. INASMUCH AS THERE HAS BEEN NO FAULT ON THE PART OF THE APPLICANT IT WOULD BE A SATISFACTION TO THE CONSULATE TO REFUND THE ORIGINAL $10 FEE TO HER AND APPLICATION IS HEREBY MADE TO THE DEPARTMENT TO ENABLE THE CONSULATE TO DO SO. IT IS HOPED THAT THE DEPARTMENT WILL BE IN A POSITION TO GIVE THE CLAIM FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION ALTHOUGH IT HAS BEEN EXPLAINED TO MRS. KINSEY-MORGAN THAT IT IS UNUSUAL FOR FEES TO BE REFUNDED WHEN AN ERROR DOES NOT LIE WITH THE CONSULATE.

THE ORIGINAL PASSPORT HAS BEEN MUTILATED BY THE BRITISH PASSPORT OFFICE AND THE CONSULATE'S VISA HAS THEREFORE BEEN EXTRACTED. THE PAGE TO WHICH IT WAS AFFIXED HAS BEEN MADE AN ENCLOSURE TO THIS DESPATCH.

IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD THAT THE VISA OF A PASSPORT ON WHICH NO DATE OF EXPIRATION IS SHOWN IS INVALID OR IN CONTRAVENTION OF ANY LAW OR REGULATION.

REFUND OF FEES COLLECTED FOR VISAS IS AUTHORIZED ONLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE THERE HAS BEEN A DEFECT IN THE SERVICE RENDERED BY THE CONSULAR OFFICER OR WHERE FOR SOME REASON THE VISA WAS IMPROPERLY ISSUED. 3COMP. GEN. 115; 4 ID. 518.

THE CHARGE REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE MADE FOR THE VISA OF A PASSPORT IS FOR BOTH A SERVICE AND A PRIVILEGE. IN THE INSTANT CASE THE VISA WAS ISSUED UPON REQUEST THEREFOR, THE SERVICE WAS PROPERLY RENDERED BY THE CONSULAR OFFICER AND THE PRIVILEGE CONFERRED BY THE VISA WAS MADE AVAILABLE. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE FACT THAT, DUE TO SUBSEQUENT ACTION BY THE BRITISH PASSPORT OFFICE, THE BENEFIT OF THE VISA WAS LOST TO THE ALIEN DOES NOT ENTITLE HER TO A REFUND OF THE FEES PROPERLY COLLECTED.