What is the change? South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs and VFS Global have opened visa application centers in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals must now apply in person for South African visas and permits at the new applications centers, located in Gaborone in Botswana and Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for South African visas or permits in Botswana or Zimbabwe.
  • Impact on processing times: The application centers are expected to improve the visa-application process, especially in Zimbabwe.

Background: VFS Global has previously worked with the South African government to establish visa application centers in Angola, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and the United Kingdom. VFS Global also operates a number of visa application centers throughout South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs has said it plans to work with VFS global on a visa application center in the United Arab Emirates, though that center is not open yet.

BAL Analysis: South African visa and permit applicants should take note of the new application centers, which are now accepting applications on behalf of South African consular missions in Botswana and Zimbabwe. The centers should ease visa and permit processing as they have in South Africa and a number of foreign countries.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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