SA STARTS PROCESSING PERMITS FOR ZIMBABWEANS | South Africa has started accepting new applications for permits that would allow Zimbabweans to stay in the neighbouring country for the next four years.
The Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) replaces the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) which expires at the end of this year.Two weeks ago, the SA Minister of Home Affairs Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize said Zimbabweans will be charged R1 090 to process their applications and added that the permits were being issued in recognition of the role played by immigrants in the development of South Africa.
The new applications will be handled by VFS Global, an independent company contracted by South Africa’s Home Affairs ministry.
In a statement on Friday, VFS Global chief operations officer, for Africa Mr Jiten Vyas said his company is ready to process 197 941 applications held by ZSP holders.He said the online ZEP application process opened last Friday and will close on November 30.
“Our visa centres and staff are ready to handle the volume of applications and call centre queries. We are making every effort to ensure a seamless application process that is an easy and effective experience,” said Mr Vyas.
“Our hope is that all ZSP holders apply for ZEP and complete the process by the end of November 2017 so they can move freely between Zimbabwe and their places of study, work or business located in South Africa.”
He said while VFS Global will process the applications, the South Africa’s Department Home Affairs will adjudicate on successful applicants.
“As with similar and successful ZSP programme, introduced in August 2014, applications will be facilitated online on the VFS Global website, but the adjudication thereof will be handled by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
“All ZEP applicants should visit www.vfsglobal.com/ZEP/SouthAfrica to fill in the online application form individually and make payment individually. The DHA is facilitating dedicated ZEP application centres through its partnership with VFS Global,” he said.
Mr Vyas said the applications will be submitted online while appointment dates will be set for biometric registration.