ZEP Lifeline: South Africa Extends Permits to Zimbabweans

Johannesburg - South Africa yesterday extended the lifeline for nearly 200 000 Zimbabweans working and studying in that country by another four years under a new programme called the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP).

The ZEP permit will replace the three-year Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP), which expire on December 31. 

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, who was flanked by Zimbabwe’s acting ambassador to that country, Mr Tamuka Murangana, said during a media briefing in Pretoria yesterday that the new permits were valid from January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2021.

She said the ZEP facility was only available to 197 941 holders of the ZSP permit.

“We hereby announce the opening of a new Zimbabwe Exemption Permit,” said Professor Mkhize.
Permits for Zimbabweans 

“Learning from the wisdom of the finest of South African revolution, OR Tambo, we do this in the spirit of international solidarity, conscious of the political imperative to build peace and friendship in the continent and the whole world.”

She said the Visa Facility Services (VFS) will open for online applications between September 15 and November 30 this year.

She said they will open more visa processing centres in Polokwane, Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, George, Midrand and Pretoria to handle specifically the ZEP applications.

Professor Mkhize said Zimbabweans and other migrants played an important role in respect of economic development and enriching social and cultural life. “We advise prospective applicants to submit applications online from September 15 through the VFS website 

“The cut-off date is November 30, 2017 and an administration fee of R1 090 will be charged. “After lodging applications, they will get appointments with VFS for required submissions of fingerprints and supporting documents to FVS from October 1, 2017,” she said.

The applicants, she said, were required to submit; a valid Zimbabwean passport, evidence of employment (in the case of an application for work rights), evidence of business (in case of an application for business rights), and evidence of admission letter from a recognised institution (in case of an application for study rights). 

Professor Mkhize added that the ZEP permits were not an entitlement for the beneficiaries to apply for permanent residents in that country.

She said the permit holders were also not allowed to change conditions while in South Africa. “ZSP permit holders who wish to convert their status to any other mainstream visa should apply timeously for the visas within South Africa provided they meet all the requirements if that visa. 

A ZSP applicant will be allowed to travel using the ZEP receipt and the expired ZSP permit until such a time when the ZEP permit is issued,” said Professor Mkhize. - The Herald

0 comments :

Post a Comment