Family Tracing & Reunification

The protection of family unity is an important human right. If you were separated from your family before or during your flight, you may apply for them to join you in South Africa, under specific conditions. Whether your family can join you ultimately depends on the type of legal status you are granted and the nature of your relationship and the authorization of the Government of the Republic of South Africa.

Who can help you in the family reunification process?

In South Africa, you can seek assistance in restoring family links with the help of ICRC and the South Africa Red Cross Society.

The ICRC helps refugees in South Africa to trace and re-establish contact with family members in another country. The Restoring Family Links programme aims to locate people, exchange messages, reunite families and clarify the fate of missing persons.

The South Africa Red Cross Society program for restoring family links helps to re-establish contact with immediate family members after separation due to armed conflict, natural disaster, migration and flight, and other humanitarian crises.

Please be informed that UNHCR in South Africa does not offer individual counselling on family reunification.

Frequently Asked Questions on Family Reunification are available here.

What if you don’t know where your family is?

If you do not know where your family is or you cannot contact them, you can contact the South Africa Red Cross Society

Phone numbers:

  • +27 (0) 10 591 2898 (Main Office)
  • +27 (0) 11 053 8927 (Johannesburg)
  • +27 (0) 41 585 6745 (Eastern Cape Provincial Office)
  • +27 (0) 21 797 5360 (Western Cape Provincial Office)
  • +27 (0) 31 563 2914 (KwaZulu Natal Provincial Office)
  • +27 (0) 78 000 1652 (Northern Cape Provincial Office)
  • +27 (0) 61 421 9352 (Free State Provincial Office)
  • +27 (0) 18 381 6778 (North West Office)
  • +27 (0) 76 314 3826 (Mpumalanga Office)
  • +27 (0) 15 491 391 3916 (Limpopo Office)
 Email: [email protected]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with National Red Cross Societies created an online tool to help Families in southern Africa who are looking for a missing relative in their search. Trace the Face is a secure website that assists in reconnecting families who have been separated by violence, natural disasters, or migration.

Download the RedSafe app from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or visit the web app for trusted and reliable information on this topic. RedSafe is a digital humanitarian platform providing safe and secure services for people affected by conflict, migration and other humanitarian crisis. It provides trusted and reliable information on humanitarian services as well as a digital vault in which to store important personal documents. Certain features of RedSafe are available offline and personal data is safely stored on the ICRC servers protected by ICRC Data Protection rules. The app can be downloaded in google play, the app store, or accessed in the web. For more information visit our landing page.


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