Answer to a question from a reader

I lost my asylum seeker's permit. Can I replace it?

The short answer

It is very difficult to replace a lost permit. But here's what you could do.

The whole question

I'm from Zimbabwe and I lost my asylum seeker's permit in 2012. Will I be able to replace it?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking how you can renew the asylum seeker’s permit which you lost in 2012.

It is very difficult to replace a lost permit. That’s why it’s recommended that you make certified copies of the permit (which can be done at a police station, post office or law office) and give them to friends and family for safekeeping. It’s also recommended that you memorise the file number and case number on your permit.

You are required to report the loss of your permit at your nearest police station.

An asylum seeker’s permit is supposed to be renewed every three to six months, until Home Affairs asks you to come for a second interview where they will decide to grant you refugee status or not. It is best to go to the same Refugee Reception Office (RRO) where you first applied to renew your permit.

But in your case, it’s been eight years since you lost your permit, and this will certainly make things more difficult for you.

You may want to ask the following organisations for advice:

Lawyers for Human Rights:
Johannesburg office:
Tel: 011 339 1960
Cape Town office:
021 424 8561

Legal Resources Centre:

Answered on March 10, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.