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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

DHA calls on Zimbabweans to apply for new work permits to continue staying legally

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The Department of Home Affairs has sent out invitations to Zimbabweans whose ZEP permits expired at the end of last year to apply for new permits that suit their situations.

In November 2021, Cabinet decided not to renew the ZEP permits, a decision that affected about 182,000 Zimbabweans. The minister then gave ZEP holders 12 months to apply to migrate to other permit regimes suitable to their individual circumstances.

Recently the DHA Director-General L.T. MAKHODE has been sending out letters to ZEP holders inviting them to apply for other visas before the end of the grace period which ends on 31 December 2022.

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Makhode said the DHA has thus far received few applications, including waiver applications which the department was dully considering.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, announced earlier in the year that ZEP holders could apply for waivers to allow them to apply for new visas from within South Africa. In normal circumstances, visa applicants are required to initiate their applications from their home countries but for ZEP holders, that has been waived.

There is, however, no special treatment for ZEP holders as they will be required to apply for available visas such as the general work permit or the critical skills visa.

“The DHA calls upon all the affected Zimbabwean nationals to apply for one or other visas through VFS Global without any further delay. It is of utmost importance that all the affected Zimbabwean nationals lodge their applications in order to regularise and to continue to sojourn lawfully in the Republic before the deadline on 31 December 2022,” wrote Makhode.

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He urged all the affected Zimbabwean nationals to make use of the opportunity granted by the Minister to apply for one or other visas provided for in the Immigration Act before the deadline on 31 December 2022.

However, most Zep holders may not be able to qualify for the critical skills list published on 2 February 2022 by the Minister leaving them to face deportation at the end of the year if they are unable to find alternative permission to stay.

In the trucking industry, South African drivers forum, the ATDF, has been campaigning against hiring foreigners in the industry both illegal and legal foreigners. The forum said it has always based its call on the argument that truck driving is not a scarce skill and as such, should be reserved for locals.

Looking for a jo? Tap here to check out our truck driving jobs posts.

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