LSP ex­tended to 31 De­cem­ber

Lesotho Times - - News - Staff Re­porter

SOUTH African Home Af­fairs au­thor­i­ties have ex­tended the grace pe­riod for Le­sotho na­tion­als liv­ing and work­ing in South Africa il­le­gally to ap­ply for the Le­sotho Spe­cial Per­mit (LSP) to 31 De­cem­ber 2016.

This was re­vealed in a state­ment this week by VFS Global, a con­sul­tancy com­pany part­ner­ing the gov­ern­ment in the LSP process.

The LSP which was first an­nounced in Jan­uary 2016, is aimed at en­abling the es­ti­mated 400 000 Ba­sotho res­i­dents in South Africa to legally re­side, work and study in that coun­try legally.

The per­mit is valid for four years. The ini­tial ap­pli­ca­tion process be­gan in March 2016 and was due to end in June 2016. There have been two ex­ten­sions since then, cul­mi­nat­ing in this fi­nal ex­ten­sion to 31 De­cem­ber 2016.

The De­part­ment of Home Af­fairs has in­di­cated that there would be no fur­ther ex­ten­sions be­yond this grace pe­riod and Ba­sotho liv­ing in South Africa il­le­gally would be de­ported.

“A to­tal of 102 316 Le­sotho na­tion­als, that is more than a quar­ter of the es­ti­mated Ba­sotho liv­ing in South Africa, have sub­mit­ted on­line ap­pli­ca­tions. Of these, 64 427 ap­pli- cants have made the nec­es­sary pay­ments and sched­uled ap­point­ments at VFS Global of­fices,” reads part of the state­ment.

“Ap­pli­cants need to ap­ply and pay for their per­mits by 31 De­cem­ber 2016 to en­sure their ap­pli­ca­tions are pro­cessed.

“Ba­sotho are urged not to wait till the last minute to ap­ply for this per­mit and should visit the near­est VFS Global-op­er­ated ap­pli­ca­tion cen­tre as soon as pos­si­ble.

“There are lim­ited ap­point­ments avail­able each day and early ap­pli­ca­tion will help to avoid dis­ap­point­ment,” the state­ment fur­ther reads.

VFS said ap­pli­cants who had only pro- duced Le­sotho iden­tity cards needed to pro­vide their valid pass­ports not later than 31 March 2017.

The con­sul­tancy said the ap­pli­cants could now de­posit their pay­ment at any Stan­dard Bank branch us­ing their Le­sotho ID num­bers as the ref­er­ence num­ber, adding the de­posit slip should be kept and pre­sented as proof of pay­ment when vis­it­ing the VFS Global cen­tre to “en­roll bio­met­rics and com­plete the process”.

VFS also urged Le­sotho na­tion­als who had ap­plied to phone the VFS call cen­tre to check if their per­mits were ready for col­lec­tion and pro­ceed to col­lect them.

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