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CLARIFICATION OF QUESTIONS RAISED IN RELATION TO REPATRIATION DEPOSIT REFUNDS AT 28 FEBRUARY 2015
In terms of regulation 7(8) of the repealed Immigration Regulations, 2005 (“Immigration Regulations, 2005”) made under the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) (“Immigration Act”) prior to its amendment by the Immigration Amendment Act, 20011 (Act No. 13 of 2011) prescribed, in accordance with section 10(5) of the immigration Act, the reasonable individual terms and conditions that may be attached to a temporary residence permit which amongst others related to payment of a deposit, which deposit shall be refunded to the depositor after the final departure of the applicant or after a permanent residence permit as contemplated in section 25 of the Immigration Act has been issued to the applicant.
In the light of the provisions of regulation 7(8)(d) of the Immigration Regulations, the Director-General invited 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, anySouth 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.
Any person who claims a refund must produce the following documents:
- Completion of Form;
- Passport (not a copy);
- Original receipt of the deposit;
- Banking details / warrant vouchers (cheques);
- Reason why a client must be refunded;and
- Proof of final departure from the Republic of South Africa on or before the expiry of the temporary residence permit for which a condition of a deposit was attached, or proof of permanent residence permit.
(NOTE: Anyone who had overstayed his or her permit shall not qualify for a refund).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Further to the issuance of Government Gazette No.38098 dated 13 October 2014 several questions relating to the refund process the following questions need to be addressed.
1. If a person entered on a Visitor’s Visa, received a study / work / own business permitfrom within South Africa and lodged the repatriation deposit when applying for the Study / Work / Own Business Permit, can you claim the repatriation deposit back now before 28th February 2015?
2. If you paid a repatriation deposit when applying for your retired permit and are still on a retired permit without applying for change of status, will you lose your repatriation deposit if you do not claim your repatriation deposit back before 28th February 2015?
No, the condition for your permit is still valid and effective until your permit expires of change status or granted permanent residence status.
3. If you lodged the repatriation deposit with your visitor’s visa application and changed to a study / work / own business permit within South Africa, can you claim the repatriation deposit back now before 28th February 2015?
4. If you have a repatriation deposit and have applied for change of status before 26th May 2014 and do not apply for the refund of the repatriation deposit before 28th February 2015, will you forfeit your repatriation deposit?
5. Can the deposit only be claimed from the country of origin at the South African Mission and not in the Republic of South Africa and failure to claim a refund by 28 February 2015 will result in the deposit forfeited to the State as unclaimed.
6.How is it feasible to ask immigrants to pay for a flight home to collect their deposit when that exercise may end up costing far more than the original deposit?
7. If an immigrant does then decide to pay for the flight home to collect the repatriation deposit, how is it feasible for them to have to buy another flight back to their home country as proof of final departure? This means, in effect, that each immigrant collecting their deposits from their country of origin would have to pay for 2 return flights in order just to collect their repatriation refund. Was this the intention?
8. What other options are there for immigrants to collect their refund, without having to go to their country of origin?
Response to question 5 to 8
There is no requirement that people are to travel and claim refunds at home. (Provided the applicant meets the requirements set up in the directive)
9. Are travellers with valid permits with expiry date beyond 28 February 2015 going to forfeit their deposits?
No, they will claim when their permits expiry or when they have changes status, or have been granted permanent residence status.
10. The DHA has, inadvertently ( or deliberately?) put legal immigrants in a catch 22 situation where they lose if they do, and lose if they do not collect their deposits. It seems strange that immigrant students should lose substantial fees due to an amendment made after they already obtained their permits - Is this not a retraction of their original permits?
No student will forfeit his or her repatriation deposit if his or her permit is still valid and they will only claim when their permits expire at the end of their studies.
11. Can I be refunded if my status has changed from traveller/study /work permit to scarce skill permit and the new permit expiry is beyond the deadline?
Tel : 012 406 2668