IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? The Department of Home Affairs announced today that authorities will begin accepting applications for new Zimbabwean Exemption Permits beginning Sept. 15.
What does the change mean? Zimbabwean Exemption Permits will replace Zimbabwean Special Permits and will allow holders to work, study or conduct business in South Africa for up to four years. Applicants must hold a valid Zimbabwean passport and a Zimbabwean Special Permit to be eligible for the new permits, and will be given an appointment date to provide biometrics and supporting documentation after submitting an application online.
Background: The program for Zimbabwean nationals dates to 2009, when the South African government granted “special dispensation” for Zimbabweans who were in the country illegally, many of them having had fled violence and instability in Zimbabwe. The South African government replaced Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans with Zimbabwean Special Permits in 2014, opening the application process to Zimbabweans with valid passports, proof of employment or study, and a clear criminal record. Permits issued at that time are set to expire at the end of the year. The Cabinet said Aug. 1 that it would open a reapplication period.
Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize said Friday that the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit program will open Sept. 15. Applicants will be charged a fee of 1090 rand (about US$85) and will be required to provide evidence of employment, enrollment in school or business operations, depending on what type of permit they are seeking. The permits are not renewable or extendable and cannot be used to apply for permanent residence. Permit holders will also not be allowed to change the conditions of their permit while in South Africa. Those who apply for new permits will be able to travel internationally with their application receipt and their old Zimbabwean Special Permit until their new permit is issued.
BAL Analysis: The announcement that South Africa will extend its special program for Zimbabwean nationals surely eases anxieties for tens of thousands of Zimbabweans holding special permits and hoping to remain in South Africa. But while the new program will provide authorization to work, study or conduct business in South Africa for an additional four years, authorities made it clear that newly issued permits cannot be extended and cannot be used to apply for permanent residency.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.
Copyright © 2017 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact email@example.com.
Irish officials announced that, effective Nov. 30, certain applicants for a Stamp 4 immigration permission will no longer be required
In order to best advocate for foreign student athletes and their schools, the BAL Sports & Entertainment and Government Strategies teams set...
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor recently published a joint temporary final rule to increase the
The Gulf Cooperation Council’s six member states unanimously approved the introduction of the unified tourist visa Key Points: The GCC’s...