The South African Government will no longer issue extensions to Zimbabwean citizens holding Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEP). The South African Government announced the decision on the ZEPs at the end of November 2021.
All ZEPs will expire on 31 December 2021.
GRACE PERIOD FOR ZEP HOLDERS
The good news is that the SA Government will grant a grace period of twelve months to all ZEP holders following the expiry of these permits on 31 December 2021.
ZEP holders thus have twelve months to regularise their stay in South Africa. ZEP holders can regularise their stay by finding alternative means to stay in South Africa legally by December 2022.
ZEP holders who cannot find alternative ways to stay legally in South Africa by December 2022 will have to leave South Africa or face deportation.
RULES FOR ORGANISATIONS DEALING WITH ZIMBABWEAN EXEMPTION PERMIT HOLDERS
Companies, employers, learning institutions and banks must allow ZEP holders to continue their services.
However, ZEP holders must provide proof of application for a mainstream South African visa to such organisations. They must also submit a VFS receipt with their proof of application for a mainstream SA visa.
TRAVELLING IN AND OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA AS A ZEP HOLDER
Zimbabwean nationals with a Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) can travel freely in and out of South Africa until 31 December 2022. However, when the grace period ends 31 December 2022, they will only be allowed to travel in and out of South Africa with a valid SA visa.
HOW BREYTENBACHS CAN HELP YOU
Breytenbachs realise that the immigration directive from the SA Department of Home Affairs is causing a lot of stress for many ZEP holders and many employers of ZEP holders.
Fortunately, Breytenbachs have a dedicated SA Immigration department that will assist you in regularising your stay in South Africa. The options available include visas such as the Critical Skills Visa, Spouse Visa and Life Partner Visa. Breytenbachs recommends contacting one of our SA Immigration consultants to determine whether you qualify. Our consultants will assess your circumstances and advise on the most suitable South African visa.
The Southern Africa