The South African government has not extended the validity of Zimbabwe Exemption Permits past June 2023.

Key Points:

  • Zimbabwean nationals who hold ZEPs can stay in South Africa until June 30, 2023.
  • ZEP holders must leave the country after June 30 as their permits will no longer be valid.
  • ZEP holders who are unable to secure a different visa for after June 30 can be deported.

Background: The ZEP program began 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 and again in 2017 with the introduction of the ZEP.

BAL Analysis: ZEP holders must secure a different visa by June 30, 2023, in order to stay in South Africa legally. BAL will continue to monitor developments regarding the visa extensions and will provide more information as it becomes available.

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

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