What happens to my visa if I, a non-citizen, divorce from my permanent resident spouse?

The short answer The Director-General of Home Affairs can issue an order that will allow a foreign ex-spouse who applies for a visitor’s or relative’s visa to stay in the country. The long answer There was a recent case (June 2022) brought to the Western Cape High Court by several foreign ex-spouses wanting to stay in South Africa as they were contributing to their...

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Court dismisses MEC’s attempt to quash inquiry into her “killing my health system” remark

“The holding of political office and remaining registered as a medical practitioner are not mutually exclusive” says judge By Tania Broughton Last year in a widely circulated video, Limpopo Health MEC Dr Pophi Ramathuba told a hospitalised Zimbabwean patient: “You are killing my health system. It’s unfair.” A preliminary committee of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) found that...

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Police are preying on immigrants, say human rights organisations

Immigrants are not reporting crimes or seeking assistance from law enforcement as they fear extortion or deportation 2 December 2022 | By Kimberly Mutandiro Organisations working with immigrants say they have had numerous complaints of police extorting bribes and stealing from African immigrants. They say undocumented immigrants are too afraid to report such crimes; they are even too afraid to report any crime. ...

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Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre finally takes shape

After a court battle lasting ten years, the new centre is set to open next year By Tariro Washinyira The long-awaited Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre in Epping is finally taking shape, with builders hard at work on the site of the new building. The office is due to be opened early next year after court battles which have lasted ten...

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New court challenge to decision to scrap Zimbabwean permits

The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation seeks to defend the rights of Zimbabweans living in South Africa By Tania Broughton The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation is to challenge the decision by the South African government to scrap permits for Zimbabweans. The federation says the permit system was a solution that substantially reduced pressure on asylum management and curbed the ineffective deportation of Zimbabweans. It...

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Shambolic Home Affairs leaves immigrants who are legally in the country undocumented

Since lockdown asylum seekers and refugees have been denied crucial services By Tariro Washinyira Refugees and asylum seekers are facing a myriad of problems because Home Affairs has not provided crucial in-person services for two years. Despite a blanket extension of permits various government departments and private sector facilities are not accepting valid documents, not even some Home Affairs officers. There...

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Protest against xenophobia goes ahead after court overturns ban

Marchers call for Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to step down By Masego Mafata “We are frustrated and anxious. On the one side, the South African government has revoked the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), on the other side there is this movement called Dudula. Our futures are really uncertain,” says Taurai Beans. Beans joined about 200 people marching from Pieter Roos...

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Refugees who arrived after lockdown have no way to apply for asylum

Asylum application backlog set to grow, with Refugee Reception Offices closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic By Tariro Washinyira Refugees who arrived in South Africa after March 2020 have had no way to apply for asylum status. Accumulating new applications will put further pressure on attempts to clear an already huge backlog of asylum claims. A UNHCR-funded joint project...

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Judge to oversee plan to re-open Cape Town Refugee Reception Office

Court rules Home Affairs must provide monthly progress reports By Tariro Washinyira Western Cape High Court acting judge Alma de Wet has ordered the prompt re-opening of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office, which has been closed since 2012. In an order handed down on Tuesday, Judge De Wet declared that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in breach of a Supreme...

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Gay refugees denied asylum by Home Affairs bigotry – report

Organisations analysed letters denying LGBTI applicants refugee status By Tariro Washinyira A report released on Thursday by several civil society organisations has found evidence that LGBT refugees are being denied asylum in South Africa despite being “eligible for protection under international and domestic law”. The authors of the report surveyed denial letters for 67 asylum applicants who had applied for asylum on the basis of...

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