Opportunity for Angolan refugees to apply for residency

A small window is now open to former Angolan refugees still living in South Africa on expired Angolan Cessation Permits to apply for permanent residency.

Following a year of legal steps and negotiations between the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town and the Department of Home Affairs regarding the legal status of former Angolan refugees in South Africa, the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has agreed to consider and determine applications for permanent residence in terms of Section 31(2)(b) of the Immigration Act for all former Angolan refugees who were issued temporary Angolan Cessation Permits (ACPs).

ACPs allowed those who qualified to continue to live, work and study in South Africa for another two years and did not require the former Angolan refugees to meet the stringent requirements for regular permits as found under the Immigration Act. However, all ACPs have expired in October 2015.

After discussions with the department, the Western Cape High Court issued a court order which outlines a process by which all former Angolan refugees with expired ACPs may apply for permanent residence on special grounds.

As a part of this agreement, the centre will be conducting the administrative processing of the applications for all ACP holders in Cape Town before submitting these applications to the minister.

Information sessions will be conducted at the Scalabrini Centre,on 43-47 Commercial Street, Cape Town.

The dates and times for these sessions are: Thursday and Friday November 24 and 25 from 9am to 3pm, Saturday November 26 from 10am to 1pm, Wednesday November 30 from 9am to 3pm, Thursday December 1 from noon to 3pm, Friday December 2 from 9am to 3pm and Saturday December 3 from 10am to 1pm.

ACP holders will need to download the court order and Home Affairs form 47 from www.scalabrini.org.za before Thursday December 15, they also need to go to any police station to apply for a police clearance certificate, attaching the court order to their application.

For more information, contact the Scalabrini Centre at 021 465 6433, email acp@scalabrini.org.za or visit www.scalabrini.org.za