South Africa introduces entry bans for overstaying


ZIMBABWEANS and other foreign nationals who overstay in South Africa will now be banned from entering the neighbouring country as it tightens its immigration regime.

All along, those who overstayed were allowed to re-enter South Africa and apply for permits and visas after being made to pay fines.

However, with effect from Monday May 26, overstaying allocated time in South Africa will attract a ban for a period ranging from one to five years.

Notices have been posted on the South African side of the Beitbridge border post informing those entering and leaving that country of the new changes.

First-time offenders, who overstay for less than 30 days, would be banned from entering South Africa for one year, while second-time offenders who overstay by the same period get a two-year ban and those that overstay for a period exceeding 30 days are banned for five years.

Meanwhile, Global Migration SA yesterday described the newly-gazetted immigration regulations as unconstitutional.

“These new regulations may trigger a raft of litigation with respect to obvious omissions and constitutional issues,” Global Migration SA managing director Leon Isaacson said.

The regulations, which came into effect on Monday, also introduce a new visa regime for South Africa.

The new regulations draw a clear distinction between short-stay visas and long-stay permanent residence permits.

It also stipulates that visa applications need to be made by applicants in person, and those wanting to change the status of their visa can no longer do so in South Africa but have to do so at missions abroad.

“It will be difficult to submit an application from Monday May 26 as the vast majority of the Home Affairs offices or missions abroad are not aware of their responsibilities,” Isaacson said.

“Most [missions] do not have complete requirements lists, they do not know what fees to charge, and neither do they have essential information like lists of critical skills, financial requirements and other elements essential for applicants to make a valid application.”

The provision forcing foreign spouses to prove they had been in a relationship for two years was also deemed unconstitutional by Isaacson. — Sapa/Staff Reporter


  1. These bans have always been in place but were not applied consistently and of course with the corruption so rife people could just buy off the officials.

    We all know of the difficulties Zimbabwe is going through due to the self-induced economic meltdown but our people(Zimbabweans) should try by all means to comply with South African laws.

    Get a skill, apply for a permit and get a steady job. Skilled jobs are still available but if you dont have the skills please try something or somewhere else.

    Mozambique needs English teachers and is short of technical skills too:try them

    • I personal have baking skills so is it possible for me to apply for work permit now if yes what is needed

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  2. Another example of Anti-foreigner, xenophobic arrogance. Not even the U S and Eu have such silly requirements. Countries affected should take equal, reciprocal arrangements. Zimbabweans must stay at home and fight their own battles with their own systems here.

  3. lt’s quite heartless & insensitive to expect the poor to afford to acquire skills when they can barely afford to feed themselves. What good is an immigration policy that only caters for those who are already better off while ignoring the plight of the poor who need help the most? When people leave their country of birth & family behind in search of opportunities abroad its no joking matter. Fortunately the world as a whole belongs to our God almighty & he knows the needs of his people better & will always provide a way

    • It is also heartless and insensitive to make people who one cannot bring up properly and educated and then expect others to help them through life. Zimbabweans are welcome to stay in Zim and enjoy the rule of Mugabe who they voted in again!

  4. We South Africans will never overstay in Zimbabwe! If I may ask, ‘Why do you people have a propensity to overstay in our country?’

    • @Aargh Hey, you South Africans used to overstay when your country was still under apatheid, we accommodated lots of south africans and made sure there were protected and well taken care of. so easy for you people to forget, how arrogant and super stupid.

      • This is very simple. Make the laws tight and fees expensive as corrupt as South African officials are , entering South Africa will never be difficult. It will only deter the poor but R2000 will still guaranteed access. I live in South Africa and married a South African and I know how the process works at the borders

    • Aargh Hey, izinto ziyaenzeka boet. what does SA people loose by having other foreign nationals around? Its just a matter of survival. Zim was once one wealthy country and no Zimbo wld think of relocating to SA but in life we are forced to take certain measures. Its a pity that most black South Africans hate other black foreign nationals but the same people lick the ass of the whiteman. tina amaZimbo we dont fear the whiteman. Hating us will never change the fact that you SA people will 4ever be under the oppression of the white man. Rather fight RACISM and STOP Tribalism. We are all blacks and should hve a common goal i.e. to have a better life than the whiteman.

    • well the reason Zimboz overstay in South Africa is basically because they seek greener pastures in that country. I can’t seem to understand your stupidity since you are able to use a computer and type. Clearly go to google and type Zimbabwe situation You will understand their plight instead of defending your stupidity.

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  7. Admin, why do you allow spam from crooks in the comments section? Anyway is this an advertizing platform?

  8. we cant blame south africa for the policy. Its their decision. They call it sovereignity. Zimbabweans remember when you used to depot Mozambique nationals in chawasarira buses. What goes arnd comes arnd. At least they are doing it diplomatically rather than the shona proverb method of screening. You cant just stay in a foreign country illegally! ethically, its not right!

  9. Please this is not an advertising space but to give comments. news day don’t and I repeat don’t give these robbers an access to advertise their sheet

  10. These requirements are justified considering the threat of global terrorism. And they are are targeted at Zimbabweans only but all those wishing to enter South Africa. Just comply with the regulations and you will have absolutely nothing to worry about.

    • Global terrorism! Dafuq! If terrorists want to to come to South Africa – they do not need to overstay you illiterate baboon! Making people return to their countries in time has nothing to do with terrorism! Where did you go to school? Mabuqa – my foot…you need Mabooks! sasikam remunhu…..

  11. Let us fix our economy then we won’t have to worry about what’s happening on the other side of the Limpopo river bank. South Africans are very arrogant yet we contribute immensely to their economy, what would Musina and Polokwane look like business wise without Zimbabweans?


      • true that, its amazing how they do not see how many jobs were and are created for them as well cause of us foreigners coming across and staying legally or illegally. What comes around goes around soon it will be back in south Africa and believe me with the way Zimbabweans are being treated here and other SADC countries i don’t think we will be as accommodating as before

  13. Could this be as a consequence of the S.A government being too lenient in the first instance as regards foreign nationals entering their country & now the problem has become unmanageable. They refused to set up refugee camps and took the decision to integrate foreigners with South African nationals which has created problems as many of the foreigners are better qualified or hard working or both. The ANC has promised to create 6 million jobs within 5 years which they have little chance of doing so will rather find ways of getting rid of foreigners.

    • But still it leaves them with a problem of who will fill those positions we leave open, i have not yet met a native south african (black or colored) who can match up to a foreigner when it comes to working hard and i can say this having lived with multi nationals in different countries.

      People lets go home and make things right there we have a beautiful country. join me me and lets get it to work Zviri kufaya kumba all you need is to exert the same energy to what ever you want to do back home as you are doing here and any where else in the world.

  14. U guys u can say that don’t forget

    Thinks are change

    See now Malema is in Parliament
    which means things is changing

    President Mugabe he is on his way to fix our country we go back home I love my Zimbabwe no meter how bad is I love it

    • Mugabe will fix nothing u fool. Cant u c that he s the main problem here. All Zimbos r here because of that demon called Bob. And u still salute him .fools.

    • Mugabe will fix nothing u fool. Cant u c that he s the main problem here. All Zimbos r here because of that demon called Bob. And u still salute him .fools.

      • wiseman zimbos outside are cowards and spineless we should all be back home Zviri kufaya kumba muface wangu gushungo is trying his best there is no other leader in the would like him you just have to appreciate and understand him baba and besides its the young ones that are really messing us up, failing to implement instructions and policies properly but instead stealing and enriching them selves and families

    • obey true that , things do change its funny how people do not see what is happening

      its only a matter of time.

  15. I get there 3 days i will be speaking Zulu, i dont know for those who speak shona and nigeria, mina its an advantage. I get throw away passport and 1wk i will be a Zulu

  16. i am not surprised by a south african not finding faulty in this regulations,what surprises me is hw u only nid foreigners with technical skills,actually if u wer enlightened people,u wld know tht yo independence is young and u pitting for the worst wth each passing year,it wld be better for u to be nice to yo neighbours,there is nothing special bwt s.a everytym a crises hits a nation pple scatter away to seek refugee…south africans dd too during arpatheid…and i am positiv they will nt very far into the future.the new permit requirements are not only ridiculous and xenophobic in nature bt shows xactly how devoid of reason and cruel some south africans are to their fellow africans,while white pple enjoy the best things in your country,all u do is chase fellow black men,i have never seen a people who are so scared of the white…all they do is rob and kill each other…dyu really think foreigners love to be in s.a wth tht crime rate?its all circumstance and when t passes all will go back where they came from.

  17. South Africa I one of the worst crime infested countries in the whole world, I surely wouldn’t fancy staying in such a jungle. I can and am doing much better in Zimbabwe . In my 38 years I’ve never heard a gunshot sound! Plus too many stabanes , it’s a sorry country.

  18. One thng i knw, God wil never take u to wher His grace wnt kip u.. put as much laws as u want, there wl always b a way for those who love God, whether here emzansi or zim where ever,.. this earth belongs to God. Get angry until u explode. Kuyafana. I m hme umzilikazi upume la emzansi. Im bek ekhaya,. . .

  19. The only way to be happy and free is to make your home,Nation pleasant in every facet,lets fix our politics,our economy is not an issue can change in less than 3 yrs.It is the politics that is sick and has chased away investors,right now no one is willing to help us even China they have been given us piece meal solutions which will not take us any where.We have been good at coming up with with Economic policies that have never been head any where in the world.You tend to forget that we are not alone we have competitors out there who are after the same investors.What S.A has done is detriment to their economy over time.Zim has been reduce to a province of muzansi in terms of provision,jobs,food stuffs,heath care products, and even our politicians most of them they visit South Africa every fort night.I advise the Muzansi authorities to come up with an immigration package that suits the Zim povo and manageable on their side.This one size for all will also affect them.Lets pray for Zimbabwe.

  20. I spent 7 years in SA as a very experienced individual in the skills shortage category until I relocated to overseas this year. In the years I have spent in SA I proud my myself of the further experience gained and appreciate my adaptation to the culture there.
    In a nutshell SA, have their own problems especially in the technical fields which are almost filled to capacity with mostly Zimbabweans. The new changes can be welcome as long as they won’t affect their ‘critical’ skills area shortage because as I write now SA have a fast tracked technical training system and the ‘newly qualified’ are appointed normally on affirmative grounds and practically become ‘qualified trainees’ in the real industry world and the the seniors from the other side of the Limpopo are overwhelmed by the extra duties of having to re-train these individuals.

    So employment creation is achieved yes but only on data collected as there is an addition to the tax man’s wallet and off course attaining ANC’s goals but it’s a big loss to production in industries. I foresee a repeat of history in SA as they will soon be faced with a massive skills shortage and will go begging and start a new quota system

  21. Its sad for most of us from Matabeleland ,we are marginalised and told we are not original Zimbos we originally frm Mzansi….now we coming hme still they is no system of affiliation we are told we foreigners as well,its sad coz practically we hv no place called home,were we gain full acceptance

    • Ndebele tribe…usanyepe iwe mutengesi…..Dzoka kuBulawayo……Be proud of the fact that Mzilikazi ran away from Zululand….accept that and stop crying – you suffer from identity crisis….hoza ekhaya mfanam…

  22. We used to accommodate Thabo Mbeki, Mohlante and some of the ANC people in Zimbabwe while their country was not stable at a place called Cold Comfort in Harare an area between Kuwadzana and Dzivarasekwa for a long time , who ever told them that they overstated?

  23. By the way, ZUMA did not tell me that my Zimbos had become a problem there in SA. I had gone there with my Ghiresi of course without a visa because some idiots there wanted to applaud me against their own. But I did not enjoy myself enough in Singapore because of some overzealous journalists. They should know that I just demand to God that I need GHIRESI to disgrace & he releases her for me. I hate this VISA nonsense required by the EU.. Yes God always keeps my GHIRESI for me as I will always get her on demand.
    Now I want all my Zimbos back home because I will amend the INDIGENIZATION policy to turn around the economy. I know ZUMA will cry for my Zimbos back there soonest . Anyway,I will speak to my young man Malema as he preaches my great ideology very well.

  24. Please home affairs there are some of the ways that can put your deprartment at an advantage side like — to those with expired or about to expire permits ( make foreigners pay and that money will help your Country . Do not let Zimbabweans go or do not make it difficult for them i know zimbabweans we are your very close relatives why do you treat us that way .

  25. hahaha crazy!!!!!!!!!!The land belongs to God not South Africans.
    To Hell with their so called “Immigration Foreign Policies”

  26. We have been entering SA without passport for more than à decade so,ban or no ban will not change anything as long as we have for bribing. Find better things to do nxa

  27. Life is very complicated and if only people had a better understanding of how its meant to be then we could all live in harmony, all we need to do is survive and sometimes certain enviroments are not conducive at given times. All human beings want civilisation, but due to economic and political issues that have prevailed since God knows when, sometimes one’s country cannot sustain everyone’s needs hence the search for a better life in other countries, we all miss our homes and we all wish we could walk freely and drive freely in the streets without having the fear of being asked for passports and a load of other documents, we are thankful for the cushioning that south africa and other countries have done for us and for years we have been hoping that things could be okay back in zim so we could go back, but it hasn’t been possible, and people might take it its as easy as an election, but its not. This is africa and one must know its a rich continent that the rest of the world has been and still is milking. You can imagine the confusion that comes with abundance of wealth, everyone wants it, and all the political issues and corruption is as a result of it, we still need SA and other countries for help, so its better to make them understand our plight and situation than fight against them and find a way around it, they also have their domestic problems which have increased due to our problems so lets not start a war on top of another, laws are there to be adhere to, so if the SA government has put some new laws, what else can we do but follow them.

  28. this law is targeted to Zimbabweans only as they constitute the majority of the foreign professionals in SA. Nigerians in SA dont even want to have visas coz they marry a south african woman as soon as the land in, thereby becoming a citizen too. mugabe z Zumas frend he must talk to him to lift this ban for zimbabweans.

  29. This is totally rubbish….Just a day before we were celebrating Africa day and what the hell is this then???????????????South Africa has always been a fake friend and this is a clear warning to the Zim Government that we are in trouble…Sorry for Africa and sorry to the people of Zimbabwe!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. It is fear of the unknown guys.With the melting down of zim economy,shortage of cash etc SA is afraid of another influx.But my question remains….is it not a violation of Africanism?

  31. apartheid has changed colour from White to Black,Whites never refused Zimbabweans entry into South Africa,infact South Africa benefited immensely from cheap labour from this country during the WENELA era

  32. some policies have negative results in the southafrican policy makers, why cant you scrutinize b4 making such decisions.why cant we get together as Africans and build our continent instead of imposing harsh terms amoung ourselves.EUROPEANS are using EUROS as a way of boosting their continent and unity.Many European books refer Africa as backward and home of poverty and ethnicity factions.SO WHY CANT WE COME TOGETHER AND BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN AFRICA AND EUROPE.

  33. I am folding my arms and watching…cause SA’s economy will soon crash and I wanna see where SA citizens will run to…it may not be Zim but the way in which they treat foreigners i doubt any African country will be willing to take them in..*silent observer*…and then again…why should non-SA residents be referred to as Foreigners aren’t we all Africans #just asking#

  34. Hapana Hapana Mazimbo tine mari we will simply buy our way out hahaahaha Truly South Africans you Need us .

  35. Its funny how they worry bout us we just doing small time jobs whilst the Indians Pakistan Somalians and Chinese loot they are the real problem they make billions annually we just make a few hands for day to day survival. #Whitemanlaughing @ us black on black smh

  36. Every nation has to exercise its sovereignity. Let SA do what SA has to do. The cry has bn heard from Zims most of whom are poor and depend on the menial jobs they get across the divide. What is sad is how some people are taking chp shots at SA and indeed its pple. I thnk thats an insult to South African hospitality. Worse still, there are persons who utter Mugabe eulogies at every given opportunity and defend him where its not even necessary. What happenned to being accountable? SA has its problems as a country and its own politics too! The guys @ Harare have messed up the country fullstop. The millions of pple leaving Zim on a daily basis are testament to the ineffectiveness of the Zim govt to cater for its people, the vast of whom have been reduced to beggars. The situation is dire in Zim and any piece of law will not deter the people from crossing into SA. This makes the decision taken by the immigration authorities tactical ineffective and in the long run will be expensive on the department. I agree with the person who said they should have turned the situation to be profitable. Having spent time in Zim I dont thnk staying or not staying is a measure of ones patriotism. I know pple who work shifts and take all sorts of crap just to sustain their families back home but even that is better than the thought of going back as thngs stand.

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