Watch our 40-second video to understand how applying for refugee status in South Africa works.

In South Africa, applications for asylum are lodged at a Refugee Reception Office, which is run by the Department of Home Affairs. Asylum-seekers are interviewed by Refugee Status Determination Officers (RSDO) which make a decision on the asylum claim. This decision can be to grant refugee status, or to reject the asylum claim. There are different ‘types’ of rejection – a manifestly unfounded rejection is automatically reviewed by the Standing Committee on Refugee Affairs. An unfounded rejection can be reviewed in the Refugee Appeal Board.

Find out more about the difficulties faced in the South African asylum system, and suggestions to change it, in our video ‘The asylum system in South Africa: 5 problems and 5 solutions’.