Answer to a question from a reader

What do I do about Home Affairs not respondeding to my applications for an accompanying visa?

The short answer

You'll need to get help from an organisation with experience in dealing with Home Affairs.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I moved to SA from Zimbabwe in 2006 as an asylum seeker. At the time, my three children were aged 5, 7 and 10 and have since graduated but they are unemployed because of their uncertain status. We have applied for accompanying visas because my wife is a permanent resident but we haven't heard from Home Affairs. We don't know how to proceed without their cooperation.

The long answer

It is a horribly stressful situation to be in, when all you have built up in the years you have lived here, is under threat. 

As you know, at the end of June 2023, the Pretoria High Court declared the decision by the Minister of Home Affairs to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. 

In a GroundUp article by Tania Broughton on 28 June 2023, it was reported that the court told the Minister to reconsider the issue “following a fair process” that complied with the relevant laws. Pending the outcome of this process, the ZEP permits will remain valid for another 12 months, till the end of June 2024, and ZEP holders may not be arrested and deported.

The fact that Home Affairs has not responded to you and your children’s applications for accompanying visas is shocking, but sadly typical of this department, which seems not to accept that it has a constitutional obligation to provide services in a fair and just manner. The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) is intended to see that this is done. 

I think the best advice is to consult with one of the following organisations which have much experience in dealing with Home Affairs and may be able to prompt a response to your applications.  


Tel: Musina: 015 534 2203

Durban: 031 301 0531

Pretoria: 012 320 2943

Johannesburg: 011 339 1960

Cape Town: 021 424 8561

Tel: Johannesburg: 011 836 9831

Cape Town: 021 481 3000.



Tel: 021 418 2838.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Sept. 5, 2023, 11:37 a.m.

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