DHA announces additional services at RRO’s

The Government of South Africa has officially extended the validity of asylum seeker and refugee permits until 30 April 2021, date until which all permits that expired on or after the national state of disaster was declared in March 2020 are considered valid and should be renewed through the Online Renewal System. UNHCR strongly encouraged those that have not yet done so, to renew their permits over email until the deadline.

The Department for Home Affairs (DHA) has announced further reopening of selected services at the Refugee Reception Offices by appoitment and the expansion of the online systems.

DHA’s Message:


The Refugee Reception offices (RROs) were closed since the 26th of March 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lock down regulations. In April 2021, the Department introduced the Online System for extension of section 22 and section 24 visas, and further undertook to introduce other services in a staggered manner.

In line with this approach, the Department committed to introduce other category of services including new asylum applications and family joining for children born outside the Republic of South Africa. These services will now become available with effect from 3 May 2022.

In view of the termination of the national state of disaster, the department is finalizing plans to allow “walk-ins”. Once the plan is finalized, the refugee community will be informed through various mechanisms such as Public Notices and Stakeholder Engagements on how services can be accessed.

The online services will continue to be provided through the Online System and requests for appointment can be directed to the relevant RRO through the following contacts:

The Department is taking this approach in order to ensure that services are provided humanely and in a coordinated and efficient manner.


The Department will start processing new asylum applications from the 3 May 2022. People who want to make applications for asylum in South Africa are urged to contact the Department by means of the following email address: [email protected] to send a request for asylum application.

Upon the receipt of email, a client will be scheduled for appointment and notified to come to an office on a specific date. On the email, a client must provide the following details: Full Names, Surname, Date of Birth, Nationality / Country of Birth, Dependents (if any), Date of arrival in South Africa, Port of Entry into South Africa, Current Residential Address where the person lives, Contact details including Email, Cellphone Number and Telephone Number where a person can be reached, indicate a Language of preference and the Center where they want to make an application.

NB: An applicant must be within the borders of South Africa to send a request for asylum application. An applicant must also attach all the supporting documents such as a Passport, identity document, certificate of birth etc. This information will assist the Centre to start preparing the application record in advance.

End of DHA’s message.

For more information and a step-by-step guide about the Online Renewal System, visit Help South Africa Online Renewal of Permits.

UNHCR is working in compiling questions from the community related to their services with the intention to submit them in the near future to the DHA. If you have questions you wish UNHCR to bring to their attention, please submit them HERE. (ATTENTION! Please do not submit questions related to your individual cases, as they should be sent directly to the relevant RROs listed below.)