South Africa, 15 September 2017. Holders of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP), that is due to expire on 31 December 2017, are now able to apply for the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) as recently announced by the South African Minister of Home Affairs, Prof. Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize.
The online ZEP application process will be open today, 15th September 2017 and close on Thursday, 30th November 2017. The new ZEP dispensation is valid for four years and will allow ZSP holders to continue to work, study and run businesses in South Africa.
Holders of ZSP’s will be required to complete the process individually which will include a personal appointment for registration of biometric data.
As with the similar and successful ZSP programme, introduced in August 2014, applications will be facilitated online on the VFS Global website, but the adjudication thereof will be handled by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
“Our visa centres and staff are ready to handle the volume of applications and call centre queries,” said Jiten Vyas, VFS Global Chief Operations Officer, for Africa. “We are making every effort to ensure a seamless application process that is an easy and effective experience. Our hope is that all ZSP holders apply for ZEP and complete the process by the end of November 2017 so they can move freely between Zimbabwe and their places of study, work or business located in South Africa.”
The DHA is facilitating dedicated ZEP application centres through its partnership with VFS Global, and applicants can visit www.vfsglobal.com/ZEP/SouthAfrica to fill in the online application form individually and make payment individually.
Conditions of the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit dispensation are:
- Entitles the holder to work/ study and/or conduct business.
- Does not entitle the holder the right to apply for permanent residence irrespective of the period of stay in the Republic of South Africa.
- Will not be renewable/extendable.
- Does not allow a holder to change conditions of his/her permit while in South Africa.
- ZSP permit holders who wish to convert their status to any other mainstream visa should apply timeously for such visa from within SA provided they meet all the requirements for that visa.
- A ZSP applicant will be allowed to travel using the ZEP receipt and the expired ZSP permit until such time as the ZEP permit is issued, without being declared undesirable.
Implementation of ZEP is as follows:
- The new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) project will begin on 15 September 2017.
- The ZEP is open for valid ZSP permit-holders only.
- The cut-off date for submission of applications is 30 November 2017.
- An administrative fee of R1090 will be charged.
- ZEP permits will be issued for a maximum period of Four (4) years, effective from 01 January 2018 and be expiring on 31 December 2021, notwithstanding the date of application. Thereafter applicants will be allocated appointments for the required submission of fingerprints and support documents to VFS, from 01 October 2017. The relevant VFS offices are listed at the end of this article.
Applicants will be required to submit the following:
- A valid Zimbabwean passport.
- Evidence of employment – in the case of an application for work rights.
- Evidence of business – in the case of an application for business rights.
- Evidence of an admission letter from a recognised learning institution –in the case of an
application for study rights.
Below is a list of VFS Offices where ZSP holders may apply for the ZEP:
- Durban: Musgrave towers, Musgrave Shopping mall, 5th Floor Musgrave.
- Cape Town: 2 Long Street, 7th Floor.
- Port Elizabeth: Office 7C, 1st floor Moffet and Main, Corner 17th Ave & Main Road, Walmer.
- Johannesburg: The Link, Old Pretoria Road, Half Way House, Midrand.
- Rustenburg: Cnr of Boom and Fatima Bayet street.
- Kimberly: Unit 3 Building 2, Agri Office Park, N12.
- Polokwane: Thornhill Shopping Centre, Veldspaat and Munnik Avenue Bendor Park.
- Nelspruit: Office 5 F, Nedbank Building, 30 Brown Street.
- Bloemfontein: Suite 4, The Park, 14 Reid Street Westdene.
- George: Unit 5 Eagle View, Progress Street.