ZEP Permits for Zimbabweans in South Africa: Here’s what you should know

zep permitsThe Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, announced and introduced the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP permits) on Friday, 8 September.

Zimbabweans across South Africa breathed a sigh of relief at this news. Many had feared they would have no choice at the end of the year but to return to Zimbabwe.

While the ZEP is also only a temporary solution, it does at least offer Zimbabweans on ZSPs the opportunity to extend their stay in South Africa.

Here’s a roundup of all the most important details:

Main conditions of ZEP permits

  • Only Zimbabweans on valid ZSP visas may apply for ZEP permits.
  • ZEP permits will be issued for four years effective from 1 January 2018 (upon the expiry date of the ZSP visa) and expire on 31 December 2021.
  • ZEP permits will not be renewable.
  • ZEP permits do not entitle holders to apply for permanent residence, irrespective of the period of stay in South Africa.
  • ZEP holders may not change the conditions of permits while in South Africa.

If your ZSP has expired and you need to travel out of South Africa, but have not yet received your ZEP, you may travel using your expired ZSP and the receipt of your ZEP application. You will not be declared undesirable.


  • VFS online applications opened on the 15th of September.
  • VFS appointments will be from 1 October 2017.
  • The cut-off date for submissions is 30 November 2017.
  • The application fee is: R1090
  • Accompanying children will also be able to apply. This will apply to children born in South Africa while the parent was on a ZSP.


  • Valid passport.
  • Valid ZSP visa.
  • Confirmation of employment, if applicable.
  • Confirmation of study at learning institution, if applicable.
  • Confirmation of business entity, if applicable.
  • Fingerprints.

Please note: If you hold a ZSP visa and would like to change status to one of South Africa’s mainstream visas, you may do so during the validity of your ZSP. This is provided you meet the requirements of the visa you’d like to apply for. Please also ensure to start your application in good time.

How can Intergate help you?

Intergate can assist with your ZEP application in the following way:

  • Gather the required personal information from you.
  • Send a Let’s Get Started document detailing the requirements and the process.
  • Supply templates for the confirmation of employment, study or business entity.
  • Prepare your application.
  • Once your application is compiled, we’ll hand it to you for submission. You’ll be able to track your application on the VFS system after you’ve submitted it.

Cost: R3 000

Applications for accompanying children will be done at a cost of R2 000.

Contact us if you’d like to make use of this service

To make use of our ZEP application service, simply give us a call:

  • Cape Town: +27 (0) 21 424 2460
  • Johannesburg: +27 (0) 11 234 4275


Send us an email or a call-back request. The call-back request means one of our consultants will call you, instead of you calling us.

As per usual with immigration matters, we urge you to act fast. That 30 November closing date may seem far off, but it’ll approach faster than you think!