7.7.2 Departure Authorisation Certificates

Summary

Where a DPO is in force, an individual can apply for the issue of a DAC. A DAC allows the debtor to depart Australia, for a defined period, despite a DPO being in force.

Issuing a DAC

The Secretary must issue a DAC in situations where:

  • a debtor is likely to depart and return to Australia within a specified period, revocation of the DPO is likely within a time period that the Secretary considers appropriate, and security for the debtor's return to Australia is not necessary, or
  • a DAC is to be issued as the debtor has provided appropriate security for their return to Australia by a specified date, or
  • the debtor is unable to provide appropriate security for their return to Australia, however a DAC is to be issued on humanitarian grounds or in Australia's interests.

There is no discretion to issue a DAC in other situations.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 102G Application for departure authorisation certificate, section 102H When Secretary must issue departure authorisation certificate, section 102U Production of authority to depart

DAC issued where security provided

The Secretary must issue a DAC when the individual has given appropriate security for their return to Australia. The individual can provide the security by deposit or by other means. If they do not return to Australia by the agreed date, the security will be forfeited to the Commonwealth. It cannot be applied against the outstanding debts.

The Secretary will only accept a security that:

  • is in a form that is readily convertible to cash, such as a bank cheque, or
  • is offered by the individual rather than third parties on the individual's behalf, or
  • is generally not significantly less in value than the amount of the debts owing.

Note: Security arising from a loan is not accepted.

Where an individual is able to give appropriate security, it is preferable to use these funds to reduce these debts than to use these funds as security, as this will usually justify revoking the DPO. Offering security may be an appropriate alternative to reducing the debts when the debts are in dispute and the individual is taking steps to resolve this dispute.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 102J Security for person's return to Australia

DAC issued on humanitarian grounds or in Australia's interests

The Secretary must also issue a DAC where satisfied that:

  • the certificate should be issued on humanitarian grounds, or
  • refusing to issue the certificate would be detrimental to Australia's interests,

AND

  • the individual is unable (not unwilling) to provide security satisfactory to the Secretary for their return to Australia.

Humanitarian grounds include compassionate grounds.

The onus is on the individual to provide evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that shows their situation meets the above requirements.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 102H When Secretary must issue departure authorisation certificate

Secretary may substitute a later return date on the DAC

The Secretary may substitute a later return date on a DAC, either in response to an application by the individual or by their own initiative. The individual may apply in person or in writing.

The Secretary may refuse to substitute a later date for the individual's return if they believe an extension would be inappropriate.

The Secretary has the discretion to ask for an additional amount of security, even where a security was not previously required.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 102J Security for person's return to Australia

Departure dates for a DAC

A DAC authorises an individual's departure from Australia within an eight day period beginning on the date specified on the certificate. The date specified on the certificate can only be within one and seven days after the date the certificate is issued.

A DAC can only be issued between one and 14 days before the individual's intended date of departure.

Usually, the Secretary will specify the date on the certificate to be the individual's intended date of departure. However, the Secretary can specify a date other than the individual's intended date of departure-within the period outlined above-where it is appropriate to do so.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 102K What departure authorisation certificate must authorise

Notification requirements to make, vary or refuse a DAC

Where the Secretary makes or decides to substitute a later day in a DAC, the Secretary must notify:

  • the individual to whom the DAC applies, and
  • any other person who was notified of the DPO.

If the Secretary rejects an application to issue a DAC or substitute a later day, they must notify the individual as soon as practicable.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 102L Notification requirements for departure authorisation certificates, section 102M Notification requirements for substituted days.

Last reviewed: 3 January 2017