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South Africa/Cuba: Whether Cuban physicians working in South Africa under the terms of an agreement between the Cuban and South African authorities are eligible for permanent residency status in South Africa

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 20 February 2004
Citation / Document Symbol ZZZ42387.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, South Africa/Cuba: Whether Cuban physicians working in South Africa under the terms of an agreement between the Cuban and South African authorities are eligible for permanent residency status in South Africa, 20 February 2004, ZZZ42387.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/414ed46215.html [accessed 22 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to media reports, Cuban physicians providing medical services in South Africa under the terms of a bilateral agreement between the Cuban and South African authorities are prohibited from seeking permanent residency status in South Africa (Sunday Times 8 Sept. 2002; The Witness 21 Oct. 2002; ibid. 9 Dec. 2002). While the Sunday Times cited the Department of Health as saying that the acquisition of such status "is not in accordance with the government-to-government agreement" (8 Sept. 2002), another newspaper, The Witness, claimed that a new employment contract was distributed to Cuban physicians in late 2002 that included a provision banning them from submitting an application for permanent residency (9 Dec. 2002).

Despite the prohibition, a number of Cuban physicians have reportedly married South African citizens and applied for or acquired permanent residency status in South Africa (The Witness 11 Nov. 2002), including Raúl Rodríguez Vázquez (ibid. 5 Sept. 2002; ibid. 11 Nov. 2002) and Ricardo Gutiérrez (Sunday Times 16 Feb. 2003). Such individuals have faced a number of sanctions, including dismissal from their job (ibid.; ibid. 8 Sept. 2002; The Witness 5 Sept. 2002) and de-registration as recognized health practitioners by the Medical and Dental Profession Board (ibid. 11 Nov. 2002). The sanctions were allegedly imposed at the behest of the Cuban authorities (ibid. 5 Sept. 2002; Sunday Times 16 Feb. 2003).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Sunday Times [Johannesburg]. 16 February 2003. Ilse Fredericks. "Cuban Doctors Told to Toe the Line." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2004]

_____. 8 September 2002. Ilse Fredericks. "Love May Cost Cuban his Job." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2004]

The Witness [Pietermaritzburg]. 9 December 2002. "Cuban Families to Battle 'Abuses'." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2004]

_____. 11 November 2002. "Cuban Doctors Face New Hurdles." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2004]

_____. 21 October 2002. "Ten More Cuban Doctors Abscond." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2004]

_____. 5 September 2002. Christi Naudz. "Cuban Doctor's Battle to Stay and Work in SA." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2004]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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