The South African Department of Home Affairs has extended the blanket concession to 31 December 2023 for long-term visa or waiver applicants who are awaiting the outcomes of their applications.
This brings joy to over 200 000 Zimbabweans who have been struggling to legalise their stay in the neighbouring country through visas.
In a statement, the 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 a long-term visa or waiver applicants who are awaiting the outcomes of their applications,” read a statement from the department.
“A Directive to the Home Affairs Head Office the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Consular Services and Visa. Facilitation Centres have 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,” read the statement.
“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.