Can a refugee graduate from a south african university apply for permanent residence

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Can a refugee graduate from a south african university apply for permanent residence


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Old 18th June 2020, 03:25 PM
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Default Can a refugee graduate from a south african university apply for permanent residence

Hi all,

I'm a refugee status holder and am currently in my final year of university for a course that it is critical skill. I would like to apply for PR in South Africa (I have been here for roughly 18 years and have done all my schooling here) but am concerned that because I am a refugee, I cannot apply for PR under the critical skills category and will will have to apply under the refugee category (which is considerably longer and strenuous)

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could provide clarity on this matter.

Thank you in advance.

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Old 20th June 2020, 06:35 PM
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Okay, so managed to find an answer to my question and I thought I should share it in case somebody else had the same question. It is part of an article posted on Bregman Moodley Attorneys' Website:

"There is however another option for some refugees. This based on the fact that the Department of Home Affairs accepts that it is lawful for refugees (and asylum seekers) to apply for and hold temporary residence permits issued in terms of the Immigration Act – at the same time as having asylum seeker and/or refugee papers.

So, for example, if the refugee has what is prescribed to be a scarce skill eg an IT network engineer and has been employed in that field for five years, the refugee would, in principle, qualify for a temporary quota work permit (usually issued for between three and five years).

Moreover, and importantly in this context, he or she would also qualify for permanent residence – on the grounds of having the prescribed scarce skill.

It is important to stress that the refugee (or asylum seeker) will now be applying for a permit in terms of the Immigration Act – entirely unrelated to their status as a refugee or asylum seeker. Consequently, he or she must meet all the requirements of the permit they wish to apply for. The only concessions made to their status as refugees is that they do not need to have a passport from their country of origin nor do they need a police clearance from that country. It is equally important to stress that the refugee or asylum seeker retains that status as well – and the relevant rights, duties and protections attaching to that status.

For some, given the wording of the Act and the current ‘policy’ regime from the SCRA, seeking relief via the Immigration Act may be the only practical route to getting some finality and certainty into their lives.
So the moral of the story is that it is very important for refugees to prepare a comprehensive CV and to present it to their legal representatives to assess, in case he or she has rights in terms of the Immigration Act too"

This article was posted in 2014, before the waiver for SA graduates with critical skills came into effect.

Hope this helps somebody as it shed light for me 🙂

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