The Department of Home Affairs recently published a new government gazette stating that repatriation deposits have been repealed and amended according to the immigration act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002). While this might be a sigh of relief for many, applicants who need to request a refund of the deposit paid must do so before the 28th of February 2015. It is important to note that anybody found guilty of overstaying their visa/permit shall not be eligible for a refund.
The Department of Home Affairs has failed to provide clarity around the following issues:
- Applicants who are currently in South Africa using a valid visa/permit with no intention of leaving the Republic soon.
- Applicants who have been affected by the Department of Home Affairs “backlog” (Renewals and change of status)
“The Director-General invites any person who, prior to the coming into operation of the Immigration Amendment Act, 2011 on 26 May 2014, paid deposit as a guarantee of the return to his or her country origin, to approach, within a period up to 28 February 2015, any South African Mission in his or her country of origin for a refund of his or her deposit. The Department of Home Affairs’ Offices within the Republic may issue refunds only in exceptional circumstances where a person has acquired permanent residence permit or has changed his or her status in the Republic prior to 26 May 2014”
Any person who claims a refund must submit the following documents:
(a) Application for refund of repatriation deposit form (available at South African Foreign Missions or Department of Home Affairs Local Offices);
(b) Original Passport (for verification purposes);
(c) Original receipt of the deposit;
(d) Proof of banking details / warrant vouchers (cheques);
(e) Proof of final departure from the Republic of South Africa on or before the expiry of the temporary residence permit; and
(f) In the case where an application for refund is made in the Republic, proof of change of status prior to 26 May 2014 or proof of permanent residence permit.