South Africa: Angolan refugees with expired permits in line for permanent residence
Source: Ground Up (Cape Town)
Scalabrini Centre processing applications following court victory
By Tariro Washinyira
Angolan refugees whose 2013 permits have expired may get permanent residence with the help of the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town.
The permits were issued following recommendations by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2009 that refugee status for Angolans who had fled the civil war should be ended, since the war had ended in 2002. The UNHCR recommended that member states work out a schedule for ending their refugee status.
Home Affairs offered Angolan nationals 14 weeks to regularise their stay in South Africa. The deadline expired in August 2013 and by then some had managed to get a two year visa, called an Angolan Cessation Permit. These permits expired in 2015.
The Centre has been in discussions with the Department of Home Affairs since May 2014 on behalf of the Angolans.
The campaign to get permanent residence was boosted by a court decision on 17 November 2016, when Judge Patrick Gamble ruled that former Angolan refugees with expired Angolan Cessation Permits could apply to the Minister of Home Affairs on special grounds, following an application by the Scalabrini Centre.
Read further on GroundUp website.