Immigration and refugee law | Webinar

The fundamentals of securing work-related visas, permits and procedures relating to refugee law

About this webinar

Immigration and Refugee Law have grown exponentially as distinct areas of practice over the past two decades. The South African economy needs to import skilled foreign nationals on an ongoing basis. However, the complexities and implications for clients if their immigration status is questioned can be devastating. These issues are the key focus areas of immigration law. On the other hand refugee law addresses the situation of people and families who have fled serious persecution in their home countries whether because of their political views, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or generalized violence in their country, because the Refugees act implements the two refugee conventions a close eye must be kept on developments in other countries and so is an extremely dynamic and changing sphere of law.  The importance of both areas of law demand that legal practitioners stay on top of their game. This webinar delivered by acknowledged experts in the fields, offers legal  practitioners an introduction to an exciting and fast-developing area of legal practice.

Legal Education and Development (LEAD) a division of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) is hosting a two-day Webinar on Immigration and Refugee Law in South Africa, which will provide an overview of the fundamentals. The webinar is divided into two parts: The first focuses on key processes and issues in immigration legislation. The second part provides an introduction to the Refugees Act and its procedures. Particular attention will be given to recent legislative amendments and new case law.

The programme will include:

Immigration law

  • A broad review of the Immigration Act will be given, and on in depth look at what immigration law in South Africa manages.
  • An overview of the types of visa and permits which can be applied for – and their requirements.
  • The appeal and review processes of the Immigration Act.

Refugee law

  • Introduction to international refugee law
  • South African Refugees Act and its regulations, and the recent amendments therein.
  • Overview of the refugee status determination process.
  • Administrative appeals and review processes of the Refugees Act.
  • Understanding the intersections with the Immigration Act.


CHRIS WATTERS has been in practice for 35 years with an almost unparalleled background in the mix of administrative law and human rights. Mr Watters worked as a human rights legal practitioner through much of the 1980s. A founder member of National Association of Democratic Lawyers, he is a recently retired member of the Immigration and Refugee Law Committees of both the Legal Practice Council and of the LSSA.

He drafted the provincial law societies’ submissions on the Immigration Act 13 of 2002, including the last three amendments to the Act and presented the same to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs He also presented on the proposed amendments to the South Africa Citizenship Act 88 of 1945 which came before Parliament in 2011. He also drafted the law society’s submissions to the Refugee Appeal Board on the Rules of that body. In 2008 he served as rapporteur on immigration legislation at the South African Law Reform Commission to review all Home Affairs legislation for constitutionality.

JACOB VAN GARDEREN is a South African human rights legal practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in social justice activism and strategic litigation, He mainly specialises in refugee and migration law. He served as National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights, a leading human rights organisation in South Africa focusing on strategic litigation, refugees and migrant rights, land reform, farmworkers, housing, penal reform, gender equality and environmental rights, since 2008. In 2018, Mr van Garderen co-founded the Public Interest Practice, a human rights consulting firm supporting African civil society organisations working on rights advocacy and public interest litigation.


19 & 20 November 2020: 10:00 – 12:30 (Two sessions of two hours presentation and thirty minutes questions)

Closing date for registrations: 17 November 2020

All sessions are mandatory to qualify for a certificate.

Who should register?

Practicing and candidate legal practitioners, in-house counsel of any level of seniority, legal advisers in government, and corporate legal advisers.

Cost of webinar
Practising Legal Practitioners:    R 1 200.00 (including VAT) per participant
Candidate Legal Practitioners:    R 900.00 (including VAT)per participant
Non-Legal Practitioners/Others:  R 1 900 (including VAT)per participant
How to register

Kindly note that you can only register online and that there are limited places available. Participants should be registered individually to enable the system to generate a unique username and password for each person.

Payment should be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) only. Remember to upload the proof of payment (PDF) in step 2 (Online registration form)LSSA banking details: Account name: Law Society of South Africa | Bank: FNB Pretoria | Branch code: 251445 | Account no: 6200 9641 079 | Reference Surname, name and cell number

See above the click here to register button

Once you have successfully registered to participate, you will receive confirmation that we have received your registration documentation. You will receive a system-generated e-mail with a link (Microsoft Teams) to the webinar at least 24 hours before the webinar starts. Read the instructions in the e-mail carefully and test your link (Microsoft Teams) to the webinar page at least 20 min before it starts.
For more information about this webinar contact Seminar Department:

E-mail:  | Please note we only communicate via e-mail should you need more information.

Please take note

  • The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) will not accept liability if the fees are not paid into the designated LSSA bank account.
  • The webinar is conducted in English only.
  • Should you need to cancel your registration, this must be done in writing within two business days before the closing date to avoid the full fee being charged.

Course Dates

Webinar date: 19 & 20 November 2020, 10:00 – 12:30
Closing date for registrations: 17 November 2020
Practising Legal Practitioners:      R 1 200.00 (including VAT) per participant
Candidate Legal Practitioners:      R   900.00 (including VAT)per participant
Others | Non-legal Practitioners:  R 1 900.00 (including VAT) per participant


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