Year-End Closing Times IMCOSA

In line with the VFS closure, the IMCOSA team is going on a well-deserved break over the year-end. Our offices close on Friday, 22 December 2017 and reopen on Monday, 8 January 2018. Urgent matters will be attended to from Wednesday, 3 January 2018. We will come out even fresher and itching to give you our very best service, to move mountains and make pigs fly – if that is what you need. All the best!

Internal - IMCOSA at the DSK Bazaar

Another fantastic bazaar was had at the German International School in Cape Town (DSK). As always, the vibe was super, and it was wonderful seeing so many of you there.

Green ID Books Continue to be Valid

The Department of Home Affairs has refuted as fake news rumours that the green ID book will no longer be valid after 31 March 2018.

Until such time as the Smart ID has been completely rolled out and become available to all citizens and permanent residents, the green ID book will continue to be valid.

Visa Exemption for Angolan Citizens

Good news for Angolans travelling to South Africa. The governments of Angola and South Africa have entered into a reciprocal agreement, which comes into force and effect on 1 December 2017.

Angolan visitors to South Africa for less than 30 days at a time (up to 90 days per annum in total) will no longer have to apply for a port-of-entry visitor’s visa before their departure, but will be issued with visitor’s visa on arrival (provided they hold a valid return ticket home).

Zimbabwean Dispensation Permits (ZEP): Deadline Extended, Local Change to Other Visa Types

As announced and reported in our August newsletter, the approximately 200 000 Zimbabweans who live in South Africa holding a special dispensation permit (formerly DZP, then ZDP) have been given the opportunity to extend their status once more.

The deadline for online applications for what is now called the ZEP (Zimbabwe Exemption Permit) is 30 November 2017. Thereafter, applicants need to present to one of the VFS offices nationwide to submit their supporting documents. Due to the high number of online applications received, and concern about VFS offices being flooded with ZEP applicants, the closing date for submission to VFS has now thankfully been extended to 31 January 2018.

Home Affairs expects to have all ZEP applications finalized and permits issued by 30 September 2018. ZEP permits will be issued for four years with an expiry date of 31 December 2021.

Change to another visa type: After the August announcement of the ZEP project, the previous Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Hlengiwe Mkhize, stated publicly that ZDP holders could also apply for other “mainstream” visa from within the country and would not have to go back to Zimbabwe to do so. In practise, however, the Department and VFS did not allow any such applications. This situation continued in spite of written confirmations rom senior officials at the Department’s Head Office.

With the announcement of the above-mentioned extension of deadline, the Director-General Mr Mkuseli Apleni again confirmed that ZSP holders could make their application for other visa categories inside the country. The first positive results of this nature have been received by IMCOSA, and we estimate the success rate now to be above 50% and rising.

ZEP applicants may travel home over the festive season without their applications being affected. According to Apleni, they only need to present their passports with the ZDP permits as well as the ZEP application stickers in them.

If you or your employees require assistance with the process, please contact our consultants.