Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all AHN Policies on a regular basis for updates.
AHN is responsible for managing the expectations of the Guest, Host and other related parties with respect to maximising the opportunity for a successful homestay placement.
It is important that all parties are clear on the relevant refund and associated policies regarding these processes.
Homestay fees are generally made up of two types of payments:
1. Homestay Matching Fee
This fee is paid to AHN to confirm that a placement is required. It covers the cost of host recruitment, training and assessment and the work associated with the matching process. The fee is generally paid in conjunction with a minimum period of weekly fees (usually four weeks).
On receipt of the initial payment, AHN will review the Guest’s profile and preferences and commence the work required to find a well-matched and appropriately screened Host for the Guest.
The Matching Fee is not refundable once payment has been received*. *Matching Fee is refundable if the Guest’s visa is denied and we receive the visa refusal notification.
2. Homestay Weekly Fees
The weekly fees are paid to AHN to cover the payment to the Guest’s Host, insurance, support services and monitoring of the homestay placement. A minimum period of four weeks is usually required for new placements.
Weekly fees are refundable if the minimum notice period is met.
- If the Guest cancels their placement and provide more than 10 days written notice prior to arrival, their weekly fees will be refunded in full. The Matching Fee is not refundable.
- If the Guest cancels their placement and provide less than 10 days written notice prior to arrival, they will forfeit payment for two weeks plus the Matching Fee. Any additional weekly fees paid will be refunded.
- AHN will provide a full refund (upon receipt of the Australian High Commission / DHA Visa Refusal Notification) for a cancelled placement if a Guest’s visa is denied and they have provided a minimum of three business days’ notice. If the required notice has not been provided AHN, will retain the Matching Fee and two weeks’ payment of their weekly fees. Any remaining funds will be refunded.
Pre-arrival changes or delays:
- If a Guest is unable to arrive by their intended start date due to a visa delay or course change, the Guest may defer their placement until visa approval is granted, or the course is rescheduled.
- There will be no charge for this change if AHN is advised in writing of any changes at least three business days prior to arrival. All fees will be transferred to the new placement.
- The Guest may be required to pay another Matching Fee for a new placement, and up to two weeks of homestay weekly fees, if AHN is not advised in writing of these changes at least three business days prior to arrival,.
- AHN requires a minimum of five days’ notice once a Guest’s visa has been approved to ensure a Host can be arranged for the new arrival date.
- If a homestay placement has been confirmed and a Guest is unable to arrive by their intended start date, AHN cannot guarantee the same Host will be able to accommodate the Guest for their new dates. A new placement may be arranged once the Guest’s visa is approved and new arrival details are confirmed.
- All other changes or delays will be subject to the same notice periods and penalties as detailed in the Pre-arrival Cancellations section. The Guest will forfeit the Matching Fee and up to two weeks of homestay fees if adequate notice is not given.
Post-arrival Changes and Cancellations:
- Once a homestay placement has commenced, AHN is unable to refund weekly fees for the Guest’s initial period of homestay (usually four weeks). The Matching Fee is also not refundable.
- If a Guest is unhappy with their chosen Host family, they should contact AHN to discuss. AHN will liaise with the Guest and Host to try to rectify any concerns and assist through the ‘settling in’ period.
- The Guest is required to provide AHN and their homestay Host with a minimum of two weeks’ written notice if they intend to move out of homestay. This notice period cannot commence during the first two weeks in homestay.
- If a Guest gives less than two weeks’ notice of their intention to move out they will still be required to pay weekly fees for two weeks following the date on which they have given notice.
- If the Guest wishes to change Host families after the first four weeks, and there are not adequate grounds for the change, the Guest may be charged another Matching Fee for AHN to find a new homestay. This applies to each new placement a Guest applies for.
- The Guest will still be required to provide the minimum of two weeks’ notice to AHN and the original Host before moving to another homestay.
- Weekly fees will need to be paid a minimum of two weeks before the transfer date in order to cover the first payment to the new Host family.
- There will be no refund if the Guest chooses to leave without serving out the required notice period.
- If AHN is required to transfer a Guest’s homestay placement more than three times and there has been no AHN policy breach by the Host/s, AHN reserves the right to discontinue its services for the Guest.
- Transport to a new AHN homestay will be coordinated by AHN if the Guest is under 18. Guests over the age of 18 will be required to organise their own transportation to a new AHN homestay. Both under 18 and over 18 Guests are responsible for paying any transport costs.
- If the Host requests to cancel a homestay placement and there has been no AHN policy breach by the Guest, the Host must give two weeks’ notice so AHN can arrange a new homestay placement for the Guest. If the Host requires the Guest to move immediately, AHN will make every effort to find another available Host and the homestay placement will be transferred as soon as possible. If no other Hosts are available, the Guest will receive a refund or credit of the remaining nights.
- If the Host requests to cancel a homestay placement due to the Guest breaching AHN policy or not complying with the Host’s house rules, the Guest will be required to move immediately. If, after AHN counselling, the Guest can be placed with a new Host family, the Guest may be charged an additional Matching Fee prior to a new placement being confirmed.
- If a homestay placement needs to be cancelled due to an AHN policy breach by the Host, the Guest will receive a refund or credit for the unused weekly fees. AHN will make every effort to arrange placement with a new Host family if the Guest requests it.
Notification of Cancellations and Changes for a Homestay Placement - General
- The party requesting to cancel or change a homestay placement (i.e. the Guest or the Host) must notify AHN in writing to formally lodge their request.
- The Guest must provide AHN with a minimum of two weeks’ written notice if they wish to change their package.
- AHN will be responsible for contacting the other party to advise them of the request to cancel or change the homestay placement.
- Once the cancellation or change has been approved, AHN will notify both parties to confirm the details of any reimbursements, refunds and transfer information as applicable.
Notification of Cancellations and Changes for a Homestay Placement – Room Holding
Please refer to the AHN Room Holding Policy for notice periods and communications required for any room holding requests.
Airport Pickup Refund Policy
- The Guest is required to contact AHN as soon as they are aware of delays to their scheduled flight and/or their arrival information.
- The transport company tracks flights online: if they are made aware of a flight delay at least an hour before the original flight landing time, they will wait another two hours (or until the delayed plane lands at the airport.)
- If airport pickup has been booked and the Guest misses their flight or fails to provide updated arrival information, then there will be no refund for the unused transportation. After business hours* this notice must be provided via phone and email.
- There will be no charge for changes if notice is given at least an hour before the original flight landing time. Afterhours this notice must be provided via phone and not email.
- The guest will need to pay for a new booking if pick up is required at another time.
- The instructions for meeting the driver at the airport will be detailed on the Guest’s arrival report. If the Guest has not met the driver at the designated location within the expected time frame, the driver will leave the airport and the cost of the pre-paid APU will be non-refundable. The Guest will be required to pay again if the driver needs to return to the airport to pick them up.
- A full refund will be provided if a Guest cancels their airport pickup two business days or more prior to arrival.
- There will be no refund for the service if a Guest cancels their airport pickup two business days or less prior to arrival.
- If the Guest finds an alternate way to the homestay and the minimum notice period is not given, there will be no refund.
Note: Business hours are between 9.00am and 5.00pm AEST.
We understand there may be concern about booking and pre-paying for homestay due to continued uncertainty around travel and border restrictions.
AHN is being flexible with regards to our standard policies in order to provide peace of mind to guests so they can be confident in securing a homestay placement in advance.
The following flexibility will apply to our Refund Policy:
If a guest with a confirmed placement needs to delay their arrival, they should notify AHN immediately so that the necessary amendments can be made. AHN will not charge any fees to amend a placement start date or to make a new placement if the original host is no longer available for the new dates.
If a guest cannot enter Australia because of a Government directive or border closure and it is not possible for the guest to delay their arrival due to matters outside of their control, AHN will process a full refund in accordance with standard processing times.
Short Term Study Tours
Study Tours are generally paid in full prior to arrival and are arranged through a tour organiser for a set duration. Guests can therefore not give notice to move out of homestay and a refund of homestay fees will not be permitted once the placement has commenced (normal pre-arrival policies around refunds will apply). Any changes should be requested through the tour organiser.
All approved refunds will be deposited into an Australian bank account. No cash refunds will be processed. If no Australian bank account is available we will refund via telegraphic transfer, an AU$30.00 service charge will be deducted from refund total. If the original payment was made by credit card we can refund back to the same card, a 3% service charge will be deducted from the refund total.
We will make all valid attempts to process approved refunds within 4 weeks of guest departure from homestay and where appropriate bank details have been received. AHN pays Hosts fortnightly (every two weeks). If a Guest has paid Fees in advance, only the portion of those Fees not paid to the Host is eligible for refund. AHN cannot refund a Guest or backdate claims against their Fees if AHN has already paid the Host.
Updated December 2021