Lancashire have failed with an appeal to retain the services of Francois du Plessis for the 2010 season.
Recent changes to immigration criteria have ensured that the South African will now be unable to stay at Old Trafford this summer.
The decision comes as a real blow to Lancashire for whom du Plessis had become a regular since joining the county in April 2008 as a Kolpak signing.
"This is a very disappointing outcome for not only Faf but the county," stated director of cricket, Mike Watkinson.
"He has been an important part of our professional squad since his arrival and was certainly part of our plans going forward.
"We accept the change in the immigration criteria and support the long-term objectives associated with this decision.
"However, it's a shame that certain players of quality who have demonstrated genuine commitment to English cricket and add something to our game will be lost to county cricket."
Nonetheless, Lancashire head coach Peter Moores insists the county had already planned for such an eventuality and are unlikely to seek a replacement.
"We knew this scenario was a possibility and have prepared ourselves accordingly," Moores stated.
"There are a number of players in our squad who have impressed me over the winter and provide us with options in all formats - so I feel confident that we are in good shape for the season ahead."