Firstly, the DHA is custodian, protector and verifier of the identity and status of citizens and other persons resident in South Africa. This makes it possible for people to realize their rights and access benefits and opportunities in both the public and private domains. By expanding these services to marginalized communities, the department plays is a key enabler in deepening democracy and social justice.
Secondly, the DHA controls, regulates and facilitates immigration and the movement of persons through ports of entry. It also provides civics and immigration services at foreign missions; and determines the status of asylum seekers and refugees in accordance with international obligations. The department thus makes a significant contribution to ensuring national security, enabling economic development and promoting good international relations.