On 25 September 2014, the Minister of Home Affairs (Minister) confirmed that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will be accepting applications for the newly created Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit of 2014 (ZSP).
As of 1 October 2014, Zimbabweans holding permits issued under the Dispensation for Zimbabwean Project (DZP) are eligible to apply for ZSPs.
The Minister has shed some light on the salient features of the ZSP application process. In essence, applicants for ZSPs should take note of the following key points:
- All DZPs will expire on 31 December 2014, irrespective of the expiry date reflected on the permit.
- DZP permit-holders can reapply for their respective ZSPs within South Africa.
- DZP permit-holders must be able to produce a valid Zimbabwean Passport, proof of employment, business or accredited study and a clean criminal record (ie police clearance certificate).
- Applications for ZSPs will be managed by Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) Global, the newly-appointed administrative arm of the DHA. Importantly, the decision as to whether a ZSP application is approved or rejected remains with the DHA.
- From 1 October 2014, applicants for ZSPs will be able to apply online for appointments to submit their applications.
- VFS will allow applicants to submit applications between the period commencing of 1 November 2014 and ending on 30 April 2015.
- ZSP applications will be accepted at VFS offices in Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Gauteng, Midrand, Rustenburg, Kimberly, Polokwane, Nelspruit, George and Bloemfontein.
The recent announcement by the Minister offers some clarity on the way forward regarding the logistics around ZSPs.