Our South African refugee laws are a culmination of an evolving human rights based culture and from 1996 onwards, South Africa has assumed various international legal instruments that promote and protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.
The Refugees Act 130 of 1998 and its accompanying Regulations form the main legislation that dictates refugee affairs. Whilst much of the legislation is relatively well intended and constitutionally sound, in practise the situation is entirely different.
Notwithstanding certain practises our courts have shaped and developed South African refugee laws to such an extent that allow for asylum seekers and refugees to enjoy the benefits of far-reaching rights to work, study and run their own businesses and successfully gain residency and integrate into the fabric of South African society.
Our services in the area of refugee law are as follows:
• Initial consultation, legal advices in lodging asylum application/ eligibility assessment form (the first interview) with Refugee Reception Officer
• Rights to an asylum seeker permit holder and renewals pending asylum application
• Attendance and preparation on interview before Refugee Status Determination Officer
• Attendance and assistance on ID and travel documents
• Attendance on written appeals within 30 days to the Refugee Appeal Board
• Attendance on appeal hearings on determined date
• Attendance on reviews by the Standing Committee on manifestly unfounded, abusive or fraudulent decisions by the Refugee Status Determination Officer
• Attendance and oversight over arbitrary actions of the Department of Home Affairs in detentions and deportations
• Assistance in temporary and permanent residency acquisition under the Immigration Act