Breytenbachs have good news for current holders of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs).
On 4 December 2023, The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa, Dr Motsoaledi, granted another exemption to Zimbabwean nationals.
The SA Government published Directive 4 of 2023 in the Government Gazette. The directive deals with the minister’s decision to grant new exemptions to Zimbabwean nationals who are currently living and working in South Africa.
The new directive comes as a surprise as it was initially believed by most immigration role players that these permits would not be renewed.
What are the Implications of the New Exemption for Zimbabwe Nationals?
The SA Government has announced that it will extend the validity of current exemption permits to Zimbabwe nationals. The current ZEPs will automatically renew until 29 November 2024.
Holders of the current Zimbabwe Exemption Permits can now apply for the new extended exemption. If you are successful in your application, the current exemption permit will be valid until 29 November 2025.
Does a person need to apply for the Exemption Permit?
The current ZEPs will automatically renew until 29 November 2024.
However, you must apply for a further exemption to take you to 29 November 2025. In the period leading to 29 December 2024, current holders can apply for further exemption of the permit to 29 November 2025. You need to get in touch with your Breytenbachs consultant to apply for further exemption.
What current ZEP holders can or cannot do
Holders of the current and valid ZEPs will be allowed to enter and depart from South Africa up to 29 November 2024 without fear of being stopped or arrested for contravening SA immigration acts.
Note that you cannot apply for a new Zimbabwe Exemption Permit. Only persons with current ZEPs can apply for the extended versions.
Breytenbachs will update clients as new information becomes available.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs strongly recommend that current ZEP holders get in touch with Breytenbachs to extend their current permits to 29 December 2025. We are also able to advise clients on alternative visas and permits to normalise their stay in South Africa.