Expert Info

Posted by Elizabeth Bailey
on 18 Oct 2016
Can a private hospital keep your passport and delay your departure until your bill is paid in full?
Meagan on 19 Oct 2016
Hi Elizabeth,

What's your nationality? Different countries have their own variations on passport law so this could have an impact on your situation.

Generally speaking, a passport can only be confiscated if a person is detained by immigration or arrested. This is briefly outlined here (click to follow link) on the website for SA Dept of Foreign Affairs - in this case, reference is being made specifically to South African passports in other countries, not the other way around (which seems to be your case). But I would think the same broad principles would apply.

I'd suggest getting in touch with the local embassy of your home country. They should be able to give you some advice.

Good luck.

Meagan