Home Af­fairs ex­tends dead­line for Zim­bab­weans liv­ing in South Africa

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE clos­ing date for al­most 200 000 Zim­bab­weans liv­ing and work­ing in South Africa to ap­ply for a Zim­babwe Ex­emp­tion Per­mit (ZEP) has been ex­tended to Jan­uary 31.

“Due to the large num­ber of ZSP (Zim­babwe Spe­cial Per­mit) hold­ers who have com­pleted the on­line ap­pli­ca­tions thus far, the depart­ment has ex­tended the clos­ing date for the sub­mis­sion of sup­port­ing doc­u­ments and bio­met­rics to Jan­uary 31, 2018. There­fore, peo­ple must present them­selves to VFS ( visa fa­cil­i­ta­tion ser­vices) of­fices un­til this date,” Home Af­fairs di­rec­tor-gen­eral Mkuseli Apleni said yes­ter­day dur­ing a me­dia brief­ing in Pre­to­ria.

He said that by the end of Septem­ber next year Home Af­fairs would have com­pleted the ZEP project, in­clud­ing fi­nal­is­ing ad­ju­di­ca­tions and is­su­ing the new per­mits.

“We em­pha­sise that the Novem­ber 30 ( dead­line) is only for sub­mis­sion of on­line ap­pli­ca­tions. Flood­ing of VFS of­fices ac­tu­ally de­feats the aim of us­ing tech­nol­ogy to im­prove ser­vice de­liv­ery. It is just com­fort­able to ap­ply for ex­emp­tion per­mits at home, where you do not have to queue. We want to en­sure that peo­ple are not sub­jected to the dis­com­fort of spend­ing hours in a queue,” said Apleni.

“The ex­ten­sion, up to Jan­uary 31, 2018, is only for sched­ul­ing ap­point­ments for the pur­pose of sub­mit­ting bio­met­rics (fin­ger­prints) and sup­port­ing doc­u­ments at VFS of­fices.”

ZSP hold­ers were urged to com­plete their on­line ap­pli­ca­tions, to make nec­es­sary pay­ments and sched­ule ap­point- ments by Novem­ber 30 at any of the 10 VFS Global of­fices across South Africa.

ZEP per­mits will be is­sued for a max­i­mum pe­riod of four years, ef­fec­tive from Jan­uary 2018 and ex­pir­ing on De­cem­ber 31, 2021, not­with­stand­ing the date of is­sue.

Apleni thanked Zim­bab­weans based in South Africa for in­creas­ingly shift­ing from the spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion per- mits to the main­stream per­mits is­sued un­der South Africa’s im­mi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion.

“There is no re­quire­ment for ZSP hold­ers to ap­ply for (other) per­mits out­side South Africa. They can ap­ply for main­stream per­mits in the coun­try. ZSP hold­ers who want to travel out­side South Africa for the fes­tive sea­son will be able to do so. They only need to pro­duce their pass­ports with the ZSP stick­ers and their ZEP ap­pli­ca­tion stick­ers,” said Apleni.

Un­der the spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion granted by Pre­to­ria in 2014, Zim­bab­weans who had pre­vi­ously been granted per­mits un­der the Dis­pen­sa­tion for Zim­bab­weans Project were al­lowed to re-regis­ter for the “non- re­new­able” three- year ZSP. The ZSP has now been re­placed by the ZEP. – ANA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.