Client feedback

Feedback includes compliments, complaints, suggestions or a​ny information about our program delivery, services or performance.

  • Compliments are expressions of satisfaction with, or praise for our program delivery, services or performance.
  • Complaints are expressions of dissatisfaction about our products or services or the complaints-handling process itself.
  • Suggestions are comments on how we could improve our program delivery, services or performance.

Providing feedback

You can provide feedback using our online feedback form - About our Service.

Alternatively, you can provide feedback in the following ways:

  • call the Global Feedback Unit on 133 177 (within Australia) between the hours of 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday
  • write to: The Manager, Global Feedback Unit, GPO Box 241, Melbourne Victoria 3001 Australia
  • contact us directly at one of our offices:

Your feedback

What if I need help to provide feedback in Australia?

If you need an interpreter you can contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) toll free on 131 450.

If you have a hearing, speech or communication impairment​ you can contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS). Text telephone (TTY) or modem callers can contact the NRS toll free on 133 677.

Who will know about my feedback?

Your privacy and confidentiality will be respected and protected. If you don't want to provide your name, you don't have to. If you do provide your name, you will not be discriminated against or disadvantaged in your dealings with us.

When will I hear back about my feedback?

If you contact the Global Feedback Unit we will acknowledge your feedback within one working day and respond within 10 working days.

What can I do if I am still not satisfied?

If you are not happy with how we have handled your feedback, you can contact:

Similar information is available in translated versions about compliments and complaints.

Client feedback policy

We are committed to being open and accountable, fair, lawful and reasonable in dealing with our clients. We are also committed to providing high quality client service. Your feedback is valuable to us and will help to improve the quality of our programs and service delivery.

The Client Feedback Policy (235KB PDF) builds on the provisions in the Client Service Charter. It sets the direction and provides guidance around how we will manage and respond to client feedback.

Referring complaints to the correct agency

Making a complaint about an Australian passport

For complaints about Australian passports you can contact the Australian Passport Office at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Making a complaint about a registered migration agent

If you are not satisfied with the service provided by your registered migration agent, you should complain to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA).

Example: Complaints about registered migration agents could be any breach of the Migration Agents Code of Conduct. This may include:

  • providing misleading advice
  • not providing current contact details
  • not providing a statement of services
  • not declaring a conflict of interest
  • not charging a reasonable fee
  • not acting in a timely manner.

Report an unregistered migration agent

If you want to report an unregistered migration agent, please contact our Immigration dob-in Service.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

If your feedback relates to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, go to Customs complaints and compliments.

Example: Importing and exporting goods by air, sea or post.

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

If your feedback relates to services provided by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service go to AQIS Compliments and Complaints.

Example: Animal and plant quarantine; import and export inspection and certification; quarantine at international airports, seaports, mail exchanges and container depots.

Australian Federal Police

If your feedback relates to services provided by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) go to AFP Feedback and Complaints.

Example: Conduct or actions of individual AFP appointees; practices and procedures of the AFP.

Claiming compensation from us

If you think we have made a mistake that has caused you a financial loss or some other detriment, you might be able to make a claim for compensation.

Types of compensation

Compensation can be obtained for loss suffered as a result of one of the following:

  • legal liability
  • defective administration
  • special circumstance arising out of Commonwealth administration (Act of Grace).

Compensation for legal liability

We might assess your claim and pay compensation in accordance with the Attorney General's Legal Services Directions, where there is a risk that we could be found liable to pay compensation if the matter went to court.

Examples: Negligence, actions in contract, personal injury and property damage.

We recommend that you seek legal advice if you think that your circumstances might give rise to a claim that raises issues of potential legal liability.

Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA)

The CDDA scheme allows us to compensate you if you have been adversely affected by the department's defective administration and where no legal liability exists. Payments made under the CDDA scheme are discretionary and might be made where it is considered that there is a moral obligation, rather than a legal liability.

Compensation is not payable for grief, anxiety, hurt, humiliation, embarrassment, or disappointment that is unrelated to personal injury, no matter how intense the emotion may be.

In order for your claim to be successful under the CDDA scheme, the decision maker must be satisfied that:

  • there was defective administration by the department
  • the loss or detriment suffered was a direct result of the department's defective administration
  • the type of detriment suffered by you must have been reasonably foreseeable by the department.

Defective administration is defined as any of the following:

  • a specific and unreasonable lapse in complying with existing administrative procedures
  • an unreasonable failure to institute appropriate administrative procedures
  • an unreasonable failure to give to (or for) an applicant, the proper advice that was within the official's power and knowledge to give (or reasonably capable of being obtained by the official to give)
  • giving advice to (or for) an applicant that was, in all the circumstances, incorrect or ambiguous.

The overarching principle of the CDDA scheme is to restore you to the position you would have been in had the defective administration not occurred.

Act of Grace payment

Act of Grace is administered by the Department of Finance. If the Finance Minister or delegate considers it appropriate to do so because of special circumstances, he or she may authorise an Act of Grace payment. Act of Grace claims are considered on their individual merits. Act of Grace payments are discretionary and might be made where there is a moral obligation, rather than legal liability and where there is no other redress available. This includes any of the following:

  • the direct role of an agent/agency of the department has caused an unintended and inequitable result for the individual or entity concerned
  • the application of our legislation has produced a result that is unintended, anomalous, inequitable or otherwise unacceptable in a particular case (including in cases where we have acted correctly in administrating the legislation involved)
  • the matter is not covered by legislation or specific policy, but the department intends to introduce such legislation or policy, and it is considered desirable in a particular case to apply the benefits of the relevant provisions prospectively.

Applying for compensation

If your claim is under the CDDA scheme, you should complete the claim form Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA) (41KB PDF).

If your claim is for an Act of Grace payment you should complete the claim for Act of Grace (48KB PDF).

In some circumstances, we, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman might invite you to apply for compensation under either the CDDA scheme or the Act of Grace.

An invitation to apply for compensation does not constitute an admission of liability, nor does it guarantee that compensation will be paid.

You can send the completed application form and supporting documentation by post, email or fax.

Post:
Director
Civil Litigation and Compensation Section
Department of Immigration and Citizenship
PO Box 25
BELCONNEN ACT 2616

Email: Compensation mailbox

Fax: 02 6264 1401

You will receive an acknowledgement letter from us within seven working days of receipt of your claim. Claims are processed in order of receipt. We cannot provide a definite date for completion of claims; however, you will be kept informed of the progress of your claim.

Receiving a decision

You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your claim.

Further assistance

For further information on guidelines for processing legal liability claims refer to Appendix C of the Legal Service Directions 2005 issued by the Commonwealth Attorney-General.

For further information on the CDDA scheme or Act of Grace power, refer to Finance Circular 2009/09 – Discretionary Compensation and Waiver of Debt Mechanisms on the Department of Finance's website.

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Last reviewed Monday 11 August 2014