Zimbabwean Exemption Permits: Minister's application for leave to appeal fails

As per NEASA’s previous newsletter regarding the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs), the Minister of Home Affairs applied for leave to appeal a judgement against him, which declared his decision to terminate the ZEPs as unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

The ZEP program, as per the initial court order, was extended for 12 months until end of June 2024, during which period the Minister must conclude a fair consultation process and thereafter make a further decision on the fate of the ZEPs.

The application for leave to appeal the above judgement was heard on 16 October 2023 and dismissed with costs.

This is a very positive development for all employers and employees affected by the ZEP dispensation. The dismissal of the application for leave to appeal means the Minister now must obey the initial court order by consulting with all stakeholders and affected parties, and only thereafter make a decision regarding the termination or extension of the ZEP dispensation. This furthermore means that the ZEPs remain valid and lawful until June 2024, granting ZEP holders additional time to apply for and obtain alternative visas.

ZEP holders are still urged to obtain alternative visas as soon as practicably possible. Although these visa applications may take up to a year to be processed, especially in cases where waiver applications are required prior to application for a general work visa, NEASA has received confirmation from immigration specialists that most waiver applications have been granted. The approved waiver applications will now allow these ZEP holders to submit their applications for general work visas, which can be issued for up to five years.

The best route for any ZEP holder, or any foreign national employee for that matter, regardless of their current type of permit, is to consult with an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., in order to determine which permit or visa is most suitable.

To read NEASA’s newsletter on the relevant alternative visas, click here.