The Department of Home Affairs has announced that it will no longer require a repatriation deposit as a condition for issuing a temporary residence visa.

Previously, under the now repealed Immigration Regulations, 2005, individuals who wished to be granted a temporary residence visa could be called upon to pay a repatriation deposit, which would be refunded after their departure or once they had been granted a permanent residence permit.

Now, anyone who paid a repatriation deposit before 26 May 2014 may, before the deadline of 28 February 2015, approach any South African Mission in his or her country of origin for a refund.

Those seeking a refund within the Republic of South Africa at the Department of Home Affairs will however, only be granted a refund under exceptional circumstances whereby a person has acquired a permanent residence permit or has changed his or her status in the Republic of South Africa prior to 26 May 2014.

In order to claim a refund, the following documents need to be submitted:

  1. Application for refund of repatriation deposit form (available at South African Foreign Missions or Department of Home Affairs Local Offices);
  2. Original Passport (for verification purposes);
  3. Original receipt of the deposit;
  4. Proof of banking details/warrant vouchers (cheques);
  5. Proof of final departure from the Republic of South Africa on or before the expiry of the temporary residence permit; and
  6. 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.

Please note that anyone who overstayed their permit will not qualify for a refund, as they would have violated the terms and conditions of their temporary residence permit.

Failure to claim a refund by 28 February 2015 will result in the deposit being forfeited to the State as unclaimed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.