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Family joining in South Africa Read More »

When does dependency arise?

The dependent spouse and children of a recognised refugee or asylum seeker are entitled to refugee or asylum seeker status in South Africa, irrespective of the following:

  1. whether the recognised refugee or asylum seeker declared their existence when he or she applied for refugee status and asylum;
  2. when they applied for refugee status and asylum; or
  3. where they were married to, or born to, the recognised refugee or asylum seeker.

Note that neither a Refugee Status Determination Officer (RSDO) nor a Refugee Reception Office (RRO) can regard the failure of the recognised refugee or asylum seeker to declare a dependent as an exclusionary factor for family joining.1

This was confirmed by 2019 court case, SCCT and Others v Minister of Home Affairs and Others (5242/16), which set out Standard Operating Procedures on the family joining process.