What is the refugee permit for South Africa?
The refugee permit is designed for foreigners who have fled their country of origin for fear of persecution, and did not have legal documents such as a passport or visa at the time and applied for asylum seeker’s permit and now wish to take up permanent residence in South Africa.
The asylum seeker’s permit is a temporary permit which you are given pending a decision on your application for refugee status or for asylum, once you attain refugee status and meet the additional criteria you are allowed to then apply for a refugee permit.
Who is a South African refugee permit for?
A refugee by definition is a person who has fled his or her country of origin and is seeking recognition and protection as a refugee in the Republic of South Africa.
A foreign national may apply for permanent residence under the refugee permit in South Africa category if he or she has held refugee status for a continuous period of five years.
How do I qualify for a refugee permit for South Africa?
You must have had asylum status previously and lived in South Africa for continuous 5 year period.
What evidence should I provide for a South African refugee permit application?
To enable us to apply for permanent residency on the basis of having held refugee status for a continuous period of 5 years, the following evidence needs to be provided:
- Work references or certificates of service (covering at least the last five years)
- Proof of five years’ continuous refugee status in the Republic
- Original certification from the standing committee for refugee affairs that applicant will remain a refugee indefinitely
- Original affidavit regarding aliases used for refugee status application by principle applicant or family members (if applicable).
How long does it take to process a refugee permit?
These types of permits can be a long process and can have a minimum average processing time of between 8 – 10 months for the decision to be returned from Department of Home Affairs.
Pros of a refugee permit for South Africa
- The holder of a refugee permit has the right to work and study in South Africa and is protected against deportation to his country of origin.
Cons of a refugee permit for South Africa
- A very long application processing time
- Must have remained in South Africa legally for an uninterrupted 5 year period