South Africa Allows Applicants Of Long-term Visas Or Waivers To Stay Till 31 December 2023
South Africa has allowed applicants of long-term visas or waivers who are awaiting the outcomes of their applications to stay in that country until 31 December 2023.
In a statement seen by Pindula News, the Home Affairs department said the decision is with immediate effect and those who had applied for visas on or before 31 March 2023 could legally remain in South Africa.
The Department of Home Affairs extends the blanket concession to 31 December 2023 for long-term visa or waiver applicants who are awaiting outcomes of their applications.
A Directive to the Home Affairs Head Office, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Consular Services and Visa Facilitation Centres has been issued to communicate this decision.
The decision means that long term visa or waiver applicants are permitted to legally remain in the country until 31 December 2023, pending the finalisation of their applications. Those that are travelling on passports issued by countries that are not visa exempted, are required to apply for a visitor’s visa to return to South Africa until their applications have been finalised.
This concession is only applicable to applicants who have submitted an application via VFS before or on 31 March 2023.
All visitors on short term visas whose validity was issued for less than 90 days are excluded from the concession and are required to depart before or on the date of expiry of the validity period of their visas.
There are several types of long-term visas available, each with its own set of requirements and restrictions. Here are some of the most common long-term visas for South Africa:
1). Study visa: This type of visa is for individuals who wish to study in South Africa. To be eligible, you must have been accepted by a South African educational institution and have proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses.
2). Business visa: This type of visa is for individuals who wish to invest or conduct business in South Africa. To be eligible, you must provide proof of a viable business plan, investment capital, and local job creation.
3). Retirement visa: This type of visa is for individuals who are over the age of 55 and wish to retire in South Africa. To be eligible, you must show proof of a pension or retirement annuity income that meets the minimum requirements.
4). Spousal or life partner visa: This type of visa is for individuals who are married to or in a long-term relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident. To be eligible, you must provide proof of the relationship and meet other requirements.
5). Critical skills visa: This type of visa is for individuals with specialized skills and qualifications that are in demand in South Africa. To be eligible, you must have a job offer from a South African employer and meet other requirements.
Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs)
Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) were temporary permits issued by the South African government to Zimbabwean nationals living and working in South Africa without the necessary documentation.
The permits allowed over 200 000 Zimbabweans to continue living and working in the country.
However, the ZEP has expired and there are no new permits being issued at this time, so Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa without the necessary documentation are set to leave on or before 30 June 2023 or apply for other visas mentioned above.
Those who applied already and are awaiting the outcomes of their applications can stay in that country until 31 December 2023, according to the Home Affairs Department.