The South African government has urged Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs) holders to apply for other relevant work-related visas without delay.
Last year, South Africa announced it would no longer be extending the ZEPs when they expire on 31 December 2022.
Holders of the current permits will have to leave the country by the end of the year if they fail to get other visas.
Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Director General, Tommy Makhode, recently urged ZEPs holders to apply for other visas provided for in South Africa’s immigration laws whilst there was still time. Said Makhode:
By the direction of the Minister of Home Affairs (Aaron Motsoaledi), I address this further notice to all Zimbabwean nationals’ exemptions holders on his behalf.
As you are aware the minister has issued Directive no. 1 of 2021 on December 29, 2021, in terms of which he extended the validity of the exemptions until 31 December 2022.
The DHA calls upon all the affected Zimbabwean nationals to apply for one or other visas through VFS Global without any further delay.
It is of utmost importance that all the affected Zimbabwean nationals lodge their applications in order to regularise and continue to sojourn lawfully in the Republic before the deadline of December 31, 2022.
All affected Zimbabwean nationals are called upon to make use of the opportunity granted by the Minister to apply for one or other visas provided for in the immigration act before the deadline of December 31, 2022.
The ZEPs expired on 31 December 2021 but South Africa’s cabinet decided on a 12 months grace period.
At the expiry of this 12 months period (on 31 December 2022), those Zimbabweans who are not successful will have to leave South Africa or be deported.