Are you eligible for the new Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit? Read here to find out more.
By Estelle Vosloo
Zimbabwean nationals who have been living and working in the Republic of South Africa with the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project (DZP) must now apply for this visa’s successor called the Zimbabwean Special Dispensation permit (ZSP), but it is important to understand these two permits.
The Zimbabwean Special Dispensation permit
This permit follows on the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project implemented in April 2009.
The DZP was created to record a data base of Zimbabweans who fled political and financial instability in Zimbabwe and might have been living in South Africa illegally while also providing amnesty to Zimbabweans who had been using fraudulent South African identity document.
This programme saw the South African Department of Home Affairs waived some permit requirements and application fees.
Visa applications from Zimbabweans were also accepted without all the usual supporting documents, such as passports, to speed up the process.
Approximately 295,000 DZP visas were issued between 1 September 2010 and 31 December 2010 Applications for the original DZP permits could be submitted from 1 September 2010 to 31 December 2010 and were valid for four years.
“Just over 245,000 [DZP] permits were issued, with the balance being denied due to lack of passports or non-fulfilment of other requirements,” explained Gigaba in a press statement earlier this week.
He also confirmed that all DZP permits will be considered null and void from 31 December this year.
What to do when your DZP permits expires
DZP permit holders that would like to remain in South Africa have two choices. You can apply for regular South African business, study, work etc visas – which you must apply for in Zimbabwe - or you could apply for a Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permit, but this permit will only be granted to Zimbabweans currently in South Africa on the old DZP permit.
Unfortunately no new applications will be considered and applicants must possess a valid Zimbabwean passport, evidence of employment, business or accredited study and a clearance certificate from the South African Police Service.
The ZSP will be valid for three years. At the expiry all Zimbabweans with ZSP permits will be required to apply for standard study, work or business visas in order to remain and will have to return to Zimbabwe to do so.
Applying for a ZSP permit
As of 1 October there will be a three-month-period to apply for the ZSP.
According to reports the South African Department of Home Affairs will still be in charge of granting these permits but you would have to apply for this permit online through VFS Global. Applicants will be vetted and will have to undergo interviews with VFS consultants.
There are currently eleven VFS offices around the country and four more offices will open in Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Limpopo and Mapumalanga
Unfortunately the cost of the permit process has not yet been announced but keep an eye on New World Immigration’s website and Facebook page for updates!
Contact New World Immigration to assist you in securing your ZSP Visa now!
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