Who can apply for refugee status?

According to South African law, people can qualify for refugee status if they can present evidence that their lives have been in danger due to being persecuted in their own countries because of their

  • Race
  • Tribe
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Membership of a particular social group (people persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender – such as female circumcision – fall into this category).

A person can also be granted refugee status if there is war in their country. If you apply for refugee status, you need to show how your life was in danger because of these reasons and why it would be dangerous for you to go back home.

If you have not come to South Africa because of any of these reasons, you should not apply for refugee status but should apply for a visa.