SCA dismisses bid to appeal Zim permits ruling

Minister Motsoaledi wanted leave to appeal a ruling that declared the termination of the Zimbabwean permit programme unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid By Tania Broughton The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed a bid by the Minister of Home Affairs to appeal a ruling that the termination of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit programme was unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. The court ruled there...

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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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Long delays at Home Affairs mean refugees are missing out on social grants

Legal Resources Centre says these delays are “incredibly worrying” By Bernard Chiguvare Refugees living in Limpopo say they have not been able to renew their status for a number of years at the Department of Home Affairs. As a result they cannot get social grants for their children. The Legal Resources Centre says people not being able to renew permits at...

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Can my partner’s surname be changed to my surname when we get married as a same-sex couple?

The short answer Yes, both partners in a civil union can choose what surnames they will be known by. The long answer The Civil Union Register allows both spouses to choose the surnames by which they will be referred after their marriage, and Part E of the Civil Union Register allows them to indicate the surnames they wish to be recorded in...

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How can I get an interview for a birth certificate at Home Affairs?

The short answer You can phone their hotline but you will probably have better luck if you get help from a non-government organisation. The whole question Dear Athalie I have been trying to get a birth certificate for my 5-year-old son since 2019 but Home Affairs still hasn't granted me an interview. Every time I go to the office to ask if there...

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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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How can you get a birth certificate with no proof of birth or parent’s ID?

The short answer You could make a sworn affidavit explaining your circumstances, but you may need legal help. The whole question Dear Athalie How can my 19-year-old brother get a birth certificate when he has no proof of birth (he was born at home), his father's whereabouts are unknown, our late mother did not have an ID? My mother's death certificate is handwritten,...

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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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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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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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