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  • Writer's pictureSue-Allan Mehl

Home Affairs announces the extension of ZEP / LEP until 29 November 2025

On 01 December 2023, the Department of Home Affairs issued a statement announcing that they are extending the exemption permits of current ZEP and LEP holders for a further two years until 29 November 2025.

This certainly comes as a big surprise to all stakeholders involved and whilst it's a relief to current ZEP and LEP holders who may not qualify for mainstream visas, it is also disappointing to hear that neither exemption still does not offer permanent residence in South Africa.

The exemption permit holders will be allowed travels between South Africa and any other country.

More importantly, the holder of an exemption permit cannot change his or her status within South Africa during the validity of the permit issued.

The Minister issued directives extending the validity of the exemption permits until 31 December 2024 and these directives will be published in the Government Gazette on Monday, 04 December 2023.

Individuals who applied previously for waivers and visa applications do not have to apply for new exemption permits as the validity of their expired exemption permits has been extended.

Those who did not yet apply for waivers or visa applications are invited to apply for their new exemption permits through the VFS office - who in turn were instructed to fast track the application process.

Should you require any further information regarding this announcement, please contact us via our Contact Form on Alternatively, please contact us on +2773 5357 534 or


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