The Department of Home Affairs released a media statement on 31st December, 2014, announcing the closure of the ZSP Permit. The Department in a statement announced that 245,000 DZP holders were eligible to apply, but only received 207, 802 applications while only 198, 840 appointments had been received at the Visa Facilitation Centres.
ZSP Permit News Update
The Department of Home Affairs has successfully managed to adjudicate and issue their first batch of ZSP Permits to Zimbabweans who anxiously awaited the issuance of their work/study/business permit. Below we can see an example of what the new ZSP Permit looks like:
ZSP Permit Update
New World Immigration noted the following conditions placed on the ZSP Visa:
1. “ZSP permit entitles the holder to conduct work/employment”
The ZSP visa was issued under 3 categories: work/study/conduct business. This specific visa entitles the holder to conduct work/employment, which means this applicant applied for the ZSP visa under the work/employment category. So the ZSP visa would essentially reflect the category you applied for.
2. “ZSP permit does not entitle the holder the right to apply for permanent residency irrespective of the period of stay in the RSA.”
This condition prohibits Zimbabwean nationals from qualifying and applying for permanent residency through the old “DZP” and the new “ZSP” visa. This means that all ZSP visa holders who are about to complete their 5 year mark will now by other means have to qualify for permanent residency. This means, which ZSP holders must now first apply for a South African Work Visa for example, then complete 5 years before he/she may qualify for permanent residency.
3. “ZSP permits will not be renewable/extendable”
The ZSP is issued for 3 years and will not be renewable/extendable. Upon expiry of the ZSP permit, all holders will have 2 choices:
3.1 Leave South Africa and return back to Zimbabwe.
3.2 Apply for a South Africa Temporary Residence Visa to continue studies/work/conduct business.
4. “ZSP permit holder cannot change conditions of his/her permit in South Africa”
This condition could be a tricky one as we know the Department of Home Affairs interprets legislation in a different manner. So this could be interpreted in two ways:
Please note we as New World Immigration strongly suggests that interpretation 4.1 seems 100% correct to our knowledge but as we know Home Affairs might interpret it as 4.2.
4.1 Our understanding of the following condition is as follows:
The holder of a ZSP visa may not apply for a change of conditions in South Africa, so if you originally applied for working/employment rights, you would be prohibited from applying for study or business rights should you wish to take up studies or decide to start your own business at a later stage.
4.2 This condition could be interpreted in this way as well.
The Department of Home Affairs could reject your application should you wish to apply for a change of status, meaning if you wish to change from your ZSP to a Critical Skills Visa.
ZSP Permit Renewal
We would like to remind each and every Zimbabwean national that there would be no ZSP Permit Renewal upon expiry of this visa. All applicants are therefore advised to speak to an immigration firm about future work permit options.