Can I get permanent residency if my father has a South African ID?

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
You are only entitled to apply for permanent residence based on your father having permanent residence if you are under 21.
You are only entitled to apply for permanent residence based on your father having permanent residence if you are under 21.

The following question is part of Groundup's Answers to your questions series


Can I get permanent residency if my parent does, and I have lived in SA for more than five years?

The short answer

Yes, if you are a dependent of a permanent residence holder and are aged under 21 years. But there is a massive backlog at Home Affairs.

The whole question

Dear Athalie,

Both my parents are from Mozambique, but my father has a South African ID because he has been here for more than 25 years. I was born in Mozambique but I have lived in South Africa since I started school.

I want to apply for an ID but Home Affairs said I must apply for permanent residency first, which has a waiting period of five years.

Can it be allowed if I have proof that I have been here for more than five years?

Read: Can an abandoned child get a birth certificate?

The long answer

Unfortunately, in terms of Section 26 (c) of the Immigration Act, it seems that you are only entitled to apply for permanent residence (direct residence) on the basis of your father having permanent residence and you being his dependent, if you are under 21 years.

And, as you have pointed out, this could take five years, given the backlog of applications for permanent residence at Home Affairs.


As you probably know, Home Affairs closed down all applications for permanent residence at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, and only re-opened applications in January 2022. They have an estimated 50,000 applications in backlog.

As not having an ID is a very serious deprivation, it may be worth consulting with organisations that have had plenty of experience in dealing with Home Affairs, and seeing if they can suggest anything that might help to speed up the process.

Must read: 'Me working here was our only lifeline': December 2022 deadline looms for Zimbabwean Exemption Permit holders

These organisations and their contact details are:

Lawyers for Human Rights

Their general email is info@lhr.org.za.

They have four offices:

Johannesburg: 078 315 1269

Durban: 078 301 0531

Musina: 076 766 7782

Cape Town: 021 424 8561

Legal Resources

Centre Email: info@lrc.org.za

Telephone: Cape Town: 021 879 2398

Johannesburg: 011 038 9709

Durban: 031 301 7572

Makhanda: 046 622 9230

Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town

Email: info@scalabrini.org.za

Tel: 021 45 6433

Wishing you the best,

Athalie

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Read the original on GroundUp here.

Chatback:

Share your stories and questions with us via email at chatback@parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24