General immigration practice primarily lies in providing our clients with assistance in complying with the requirements and directives of the Department of Home Affairs in obtaining relevant temporary and permanent residence permits.
However, in recent years it has become increasingly necessary to rely on the courts in the defence and enforcement of the rights of our clients.
Deportation, Refusal of Entry Into South Africa and Refusal of Permit: Judicial Oversight of Action and Decisions Taken by the Department of Home Affairs
The Constitution of South Africa protects the rights of all persons in the Republic, not only those of South African citizens. In recent years, the ever-increasing aggression with which the Department of Home Affairs has been pursuing even minor faults in residence permits and the legal status of foreigners in South Africa (even those created by the Department itself), has given rise to the need for a robust and equally aggressive approach in upholding the rights of foreigners whom the Department seeks to deport or refuse entry into the Country.
The Department of Home Affairs is vested with far-reaching executive power in the administration of all immigration and refugee affairs as well as the control of all ports of entry to and exit from South Africa. The administrative actions and decisions of the Department can have potentially devastating consequences to the lives and livelihood of foreign persons within South Africa. This power is however subject to the Constitution of South Africa and to judicial review and oversight. This means that any person threatened with deportation or refusal of entry into South Africa may turn to the courts in order to protect their rights and legal interests.
We specialise in urgent and non-urgent litigation against unlawful and unconstitutional action taken by the Department of Home Affairs, including unlawful detention and deportation, as well as declarations of foreign persons as undesirable or prohibited persons.
We also represent our clients in civil actions in respect of unlawful arrests and attempted deportations.
We are one of a select few law firms in South Africa which are capable of offering this service to our clients.
Defence of Criminal Charges:
The Immigration Act and Criminal Procedure Act make provision for certain offences which can result in the arrest and eventual deportation of foreign persons to their countries of origin. Detention at various ports of entry, when entering or exiting South Africa, arrest by immigration officials within the borders of South Africa and arrest by police members can have serious consequences to a foreign person’s status within the country, including their declaration as an undesirable or prohibited person and final deportation.
We assist from the initial stages of detention, by obtaining bail for our client’s, often after hours, as well as the defence of any criminal charges until finalisation of the matter.