Angolan ex-refugees given chance to apply for residency in South Africa

Angolan ex-refugees in South Africa who were given a two-year deadline in 2013 to return to their country have been given a chance to apply for residency.

According to the Legal Resources Centre (LRC)‚ the negotiated settlement allows for former Angolan refugees falling into this category to submit further documents to the Department of Home Affairs in order to attempt to regularise their stay in South Africa and apply for permanent residency.

The LRC represented Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town and a number of former Angolan refugees in litigation against the Department of Home Affairs regarding the legal status of former Angolan refugees in South Africa.

In 2013‚ Home Affairs decided that former Angolan refugees no longer needed the protection of the South African government‚ as Angola was considered politically stable. Those Angolans who had been recognised refugees in South Africa were advised to apply for a special type of visa (Angolan Cessation Process Permit) which would allow them to legally work and study in South Africa for another two years‚ while making plans to return to their country.

“Many Angolans have lived in South Africa for close to 20 years. They have created lives for themselves and raised their families in South Africa.