The Department of Home Affairs has issued a new Directive regulating the handling of the ZEP application process. The online Application process for ZEP renewals closed on the 30th of November 2017 meaning that all persons who did not take advantage of this new dispensation would have to comply with the requirements of the mainstream immigration system. The Directive covers 4 main aspects which we deal with below.
The Directive confirms that ZSP holders who wish to apply for the mainstream visas can still do so until the 31st of December 2017 when their current visas expire. We have been informed by some persons that VFS offices have been blocking prospective applicants on the basis that the process ended on the 30th of November. This is incorrect, the Directive makes this clear. Any person on a ZSP who wish to change to a mainstream visa can do as long as his or her visa is valid. A second important aspect to this issue is that the Director General has indicated that if one opts for the mainstream visa the Department will not consider the application for the ZEP. The Directive expressly states that applicants may not apply for the ZEP and a mainstream visa simultaneously. If an application for both is submitted the second application will not be considered.
The second issue addressed in the Directive is the fate of the accompanying family members of the ZEP applicants. If a person is on an accompanying spouse or parent on a ZSP are advised to apply for the extension of their visas and submit a copy of the ZEP VFS receipt issued. The extension will only be finalised once the ZEP application is finalised.
Please note VFS will close on the 20th of December so all accompanying family members are advised to submit their applications on or before the 20th of December 2017
The third issue relates to all Companies, Employers, Learning Institutions and Banks. The Department has advised these entities that services should continue to be provided to all holders of ZSP permits that are expiring on the 31st of December 2017 provided that proof of submission for an application for a mainstream visa or ZEP permit is provided. Proof of application can also include the proof of Payment to VFS or the VFS Receipt.
Finally all ZSP permit holders and their accompanying family members will be allowed to travel freely in and out of SA provided that proof of ZEP renewal is provided or proof of submission of accompanying dependent visa is provided
For assistance with your immigration matter you can contact us at our our offices and speak to one of our specialists.
Lead immigration specialist at Strategies Migration Services SA
Cell: +2774 337 0269
tel : +2711 064 4875