Home News Motsoaledi Extends Validity of Exemption Permits for Lesotho and Zimbabwean Nationals

Motsoaledi Extends Validity of Exemption Permits for Lesotho and Zimbabwean Nationals

by Central News Reporter
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Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has welcomed the decision of the High Court, Gauteng Local Division, in Pretoria to struck from the roll the urgent applications by Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) holders.

Home Affairs Minister

In an effort to provide relief and support to Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa, Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has announced that he has issued directives to extend the validity of the exemption permits to 31 December 2024.

Motsoaledi emphasized the importance of affected individuals seizing the opportunity to apply for new exemption permits through VFS Global. The extension of the validity allows for a window of opportunity for individuals to ensure they can continue living, working, and conducting business in South Africa.

The Minister explained that both Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals will be entitled to apply for new exemption permits. These permits will provide individuals with the right to work, seek employment, and conduct business in South Africa.

Additionally, holders of the exemption permit, which is set to expire on 31 December 2023 or any extended period of validity, are eligible to apply for a new exemption permit. This ensures a seamless transition for individuals currently holding permits set to expire in the near future.

It’s essential to note that individuals with the new exemption permits will not be allowed to apply for permanent residence in South Africa. Despite the period of stay in the country, holders of the exemption permit will not be entitled to seek permanent residence.

In addressing the media in Pretoria, Motsoaledi outlined the specific terms and conditions for Zimbabwean nationals applying for the new exemption permits. These conditions ensure that individuals understand the limitations and rights associated with the new permits.

The Minister has also taken into account the children born and staying in South Africa and has urged individuals to disclose and/or register all minor children in the application process for the new exemption permits.

Motsoaledi has granted exemptions to approximately 54,653 Lesotho nationals for a two-year period and approximately 178,000 Zimbabwean nationals. These numbers demonstrate the significant impact of the extension on a large population of individuals in South Africa.

To streamline the process, a dedicated team will be set up to handle the applications for new exemption permits. VFS Global has also been instructed to expedite the application process to ensure a timely and efficient process for individuals applying for the new permits.

The announcement of the extension of the exemption permits comes as a relief to many Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa. It provides a sense of security and stability, allowing individuals to continue their lives and pursue opportunities in the country.

The previous Zimbabwean special dispensation, known as the Dispensation for Zimbabwe Permit, commenced in 2009 and provided documentation for qualifying Zimbabweans for a five-year period. The extension of the exemption permits reflects the ongoing support and consideration for foreign nationals living in South Africa.

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