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What countries in the world may be entered without visa by a refugee carrying a South Africa travel document such as the one illustrated?

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  • A bit off-topic but I find it interesting that the cover is also translated in French as according to Wikipedia French is not an official language of South Africa, I'd rather have expected Afrikaans to be present on the cover. Any information regarding this ? Is that due to the fact the France at some point colonized some part of the country ? – stbr Sep 3 at 11:27
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    @stbr French used to be the common lingua franca for diplomacy, international relations and in many international organizations until a few decades ago. It is a relatively new phenomenon that English has taken over this role. Many countries still use French text in their travel documents, not only for refugees, but also in regular passports. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Sep 3 at 13:12
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo my UK passport, and my wife's US passport, have English/French field descriptors for all the data on the personal ID page, doubtless for the reasons you state. (The US passport has Spanish language descriptors also, probably for local reasons.) – MadHatter Sep 8 at 13:17
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+100

Visa free countries are:

  • The country where you fled persecution

  • Country of Origin

Recognized refugees, can apply for and use the refugee passport from the Department of Home Affairs for travel abroad. This South African-issued refugee passport is valid for travel abroad, including to the country of origin.

Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, South Africa: Whether the travel document issued to refugees is valid for travel to the country from which the person fled persecution, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo

(Refworld)

Furthermore, it goes on to state that returning to your country of origin on this travel document could result in its revocation:

returning to their country of origin indicates... that the refugee no longer fears persecution... it is likely that [they] will lose refugee status. If the refugee status is revoked, the refugee passport is also revoked

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    You've misinterpreted your source. The DRC is only given as an example of a 'country from which [you] fled persecution', and not as a country which grants visa-free entry to all holders of that travel document. So only refugees from the DRC could use it to return home without a visa. – knowah Sep 11 at 9:50
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    Furthermore, it goes on to state that returning to your country of origin on this travel document could result in its revocation: "returning to their country of origin indicates... that the refugee no longer fears persecution... it is likely that [they] will lose refugee status... If the refugee status is revoked, the refugee passport is also revoked." – knowah Sep 11 at 9:54
  • The answer is incorrect; as @knowah observes, the answer's assertions are not supported by the cited source. Downvoted. – David Sep 28 at 13:49
  • @David edited post – Daniil Sep 28 at 14:12
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    The partial sentence you quote in the second sentence of the first quote does not support the idea that the holder of a refugee travel document issued by South Africa will necessarily be admitted to the DRC (or to any other state). The sentence does support the idea that it's OK with South Africa to travel internationally with the refugee travel doc (keeping in mind that travel to country or origin or persecution may lead to termination of asylee status), but South Africa does not and cannot assert that country X will take the doc, nor that country Y will not. Each state decides on its own. – David Sep 28 at 23:03

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