Canada Refund transactions usually take place once:
- The applicant has deposited the fee payment and,
- The Cost Recovery Officer (CRO) determines that one of the conditions specified above exists
In these cases, the Cost Recovery Officer (CRO) would need to complete the appropriate request for the MA to refund the applicant. The Immigration Program Manager (IPM) would need to approve the payment request by signing under Section 20 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA). Thereafter, the Management and Consular Officer (MCO) would need to sign under Section 33 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA).
The officers would need to place a copy of the request in the case file. In addition, they would need to place the appropriate comments in the Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS) or the Global Case Management System (GCMS) notes or data. It is worth mentioning that the copy of the request must have an outline declaring the rationale for the refund.
In most cases, the officers would need to issue the refund directly to the client by the MA through an appropriate financial instrument. However, they would need to obtain the appropriate approval from the Immigration Program Manager (IPM) or the Deputy Immigration Program Manager (DIPM). Under no circumstances should the officers issue the refund to a third party unless they receive this authorisation specifically from the client in writing. Similarly, the officers would, under no circumstances, make payments to or make payments through the Cost Recovery Clerk (CRC) or any other immigration program staff.
It is worth mentioning that the authorities would only make refunds of less than five Canadian dollars if the applicant requests for it on the same day. For more details on this policy, officers would need to review FP 4.2.
The authorities generally establish the fee by regulation in Canadian dollars. As such, the officers would typically generate refunds in foreign currencies equivalent to the Canadian dollar according to the exchange rate at the time of the refund.
FP 4.2 states that ‘It is the Department’s policy that revenues shall be refunded where a revenue has been collected in error or in excess of requirements’. The only time the authorities make an exception to this case is when they do a file transfer. In this instance, the mission holding the file would need to process the refund. This is part of the International Region (IR) Risk Mitigation Strategy as the mission holding the physical file would normally have finished processing it and have the relevant proof of payment (or receipt) on file. This is part of the International Region (IR) client service initiatives as well, as the applicant would have typically had the most recent dealings with this mission.
Officers would need to code the refunds of processing fees collected in the current fiscal year to the same General Ledger (G/L) revenue account to which they had originally coded the fees. In addition, they would need to code the refunds of processing fees collected in previous years to G/L 21927.
Similarly, officers would need to code refunds of Right of Permanent Residence Fees (RPRF) collected in the current fiscal year to G/L 21918. Officers would need to code refunds of Right of Permanent Residence Fees (RPRF) collected in previous fiscal years to G/L 21920.
It is worth mentioning that an adjustment is the refund of an overpayment to an applicant before the officers reconcile the payment in POS+, which is the cost recovery system that the International Region (IR) typically uses. In addition, a refund refers to the result of an incorrect payment. As such, the officers would need to pay this by cheque through the mission account. Similarly, a remission is the result of a legislative change in the fee, which results in a refund to the applicant.