In our monthly Immigration News from Africa, we update you on important changes in African Immigration.
Updates – SA Overturns ZEP Directive
On Wednesday, 24 November, the Cabinet of South Africa announced extensions to the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), set to expire on 31 December, will no longer be allowed.
Immigration Directive 10 of 2021, which details that all ZEP holders will be allowed to travel freely during the proposed 12-month grace period. The directive also stated that ZEP holders should be allowed to continue work-related, banking and educational activities until the end of the grace period, if in possession of a VFS receipt.
On Monday 13 December 2021, it was announced that the ZEP Holders Association and not-for-profit group African Amity brought an urgent application to the Johannesburg High Court. The application looks to overturn the Cabinet decision stated above.
Additionally, Directive 11 was issued on the DHA site, overturning the previous point in Directive 10, specifying that ZEP holders should be in possession of a VFS receipt to continue banking and educational services. ZEP holders will be able to continue these services with no VFS receipt, for now.
Our CEO, Andreas Krensel, discussed the initial directive, as well as updates on the issue as they arose. So far, no new information has been forthcoming. ZEP holders who have not managed to apply for valid visas by 31 December 2022 will be deported and therefore are encouraged to begin applying for relevant visas as soon as possible.
SA to Offer E-visa Services
Following a state visit from South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to Kenya on 23 and 24 November, SA is set to take on an e-visa system from March 2022, which will further ensure increased immigration participation between the two nations – a system Kenya has already successfully demonstrated.
According to a statement released after the visit, “… the recent launch of the e-visa system will contribute towards simplifying visa processes and enable easier movement of people between the two countries. It was decided to set up a task team at the level of the two Presidents, to look into any challenges pertaining to the visa regime and to address them with the required speed.”
Kenya has since decided to issue e-visas automatically upon full payment.
Kenya Plans to Prohibit In-Country Application for Change of Employer
In one of our recent meetings with a high-ranking official of the Immigration Authorities in Kenya, it was indicated that the country is planning to prohibit the change of employer from within Kenya.
The official indicated that there is a directive planned which will prohibit the change of employer application from within Kenya, thus making the change impossible.
In addition, he indicated that a cooling-off period of two years may be introduced. This would mean that a foreigner must exit Kenya after his employment with Company X has ended and must wait two years until they can apply for a new work pass.
The directive has not yet been published – we must view it directly to make a fair and final assessment.
Ghana Makes Full Vaccination Mandatory for Travellers
Ghana has released revised travel guidelines in the wake of the Omicron variant detection. International travellers as well as those from West Africa are affected. According to a statement released by Ghanaian Health Services, travellers to Ghana who are 18 years and above must provide proof of full vaccination for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, all unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from 12 December 2021 are exempted. However, unvaccinated residents would be vaccinated on arrival in Ghana.
All Ghanaians travelling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated from 12 December 2021. Other travel requirements remain unchanged, including a negative PCR test requirement 72 hours prior to travel, a completed Health Declaration Form and an antigen test for all arrivals into Ghana.
Angola Tightens Travel Restrictions
Angola’s borders remain closed to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe following detection of the Omicron variant.
The State of Public Calamity has been extended to 5 January 2022, although most necessary services are now allowed with restrictions. Entry is subject to a negative 72 hours PCR test before arriving in Angola, as well proof of vaccination. All travellers must submit a Health Declaration Form.
While restrictions apply, applications and biometric processing for certain visas are still possible, with physical passports being endorsed at a later stage.
The following entry/ exit exceptions currently apply:
- Angolan nationals or persons with a residence permit in Angola, for entry into Angola
- Professionals working in the private or public sector
- Foreign persons holding a work visa in Angola
- Foreign nationals, travel to their respective countries
- Official trips to the country
- Humanitarian aid
- Medical emergencies
- Entry to perform specific, expert tasks
- Entry and exit of diplomatic and consular staff
Visa processing delays/rejections
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration in Windhoek is currently moving to a new building. Please note that for the moment, this may cause delays in visa processing for travellers to and from Namibia.
Namibian immigration consultants are experiencing an increase in rejections regarding the Namibian Long-Term Work Permits, even with recommendation letters from the Labour Department.
While our Namibia branch has not experienced rejections directly, it is important for employees and employers to note that this could affect corporates looking to bring in foreign nationals to Namibia on Long-Term Work Permits. Information around this issue is still forthcoming. Stay updated through our social media channels as we receive additional details.
CONTACT US, to enquire how we can provide Immigration Solutions, catered to your needs!
Stay updated with Immigration News from Africa by signing up for our newsletter HERE.