South African Immigration

Regularizing Illegal Status (So-Called “Good Cause” Application)

The Immigration Act provides that all illegal foreigners must depart South Africa unless authorised by the Director-General to remain in the country.  These “authorisation to remain” applications are often referred to by Home Affairs officials as “good cause” applications.

You are required to prove in these applications, amongst other things, that you are illegal for reasons beyond your control and that you are immediately in a position to apply for a visa.   The three possible outcomes to these applications are the issuance of a Form 20 (the authorisation to remain) with or without a criminal conviction or a refusal (which should by law be a lawful/valid refusal) with an order to leave.