THE High Commission of Zambia in Pretoria would like to advise Zambians travelling to South Africa, particularly those going to meet church leaders in various parts of the country, to ensure that they make adequate arrangements before setting off on their trip.

The advisory comes in the wake of several Zambians getting stranded while in South Africa after running out of money. The Zambians are, as result, forced to go without food and to spend nights in the open.

The Mission wishes to advise that it does not have resources with which to repatriate the huge numbers of citizens that have continued presenting themselves to the High Commission in Pretoria to seek assistance.

Zambians planning to travel are advised to first contact their hosts in South Africa so that they could gather all the necessary information pertaining to their trip. It will be important for travellers to make prior arrangements for accommodation, transportation, food and to carry enough money to last them the entire duration of their stay in South Africa.

The High Commission further wishes to advise that the Republic of South Africa has amended its Immigration Act and this became law on May 16, 2014.

With effect from 1st October, 2014 (although a grace period was later given for the effective date), parents travelling with a child or minor under 18 years, are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child, reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child. A parent travelling with a child and where one parent or both parents are deceased or the child is travelling with a relative or another person will have to prove that appropriate authority has been obtained. A minor travelling by themselves will have to produce a sworn affidavit by both parents or legal guardians as well as a birth certificate.

The law also states that a person cannot change from a Visitor’s Visa to another type of visa or permit without first exiting South Africa. Applications for change of conditions or long stay permits other than Visitors’ must be made at a Mission abroad – i.e. South African High Commission or Consulate.
It was previously allowed to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit whilst using a Visitor’s Visa but the amended law now prohibits any foreigner from applying for a temporary residence permit while in the country.

There has also been an increase in the administrative fines to be imposed on those who overstay or contravene the Immigration Act in any other manner.

Once the Visa has expired, foreigners face a ban labelling them ‘Undesirable Persons’ for periods of one, two or five years. If the period overstayed is 30 days then the penalty is 24 months.

If a person’s Visitor’s Visa has expired, they risk being declared an ‘Undesirable Person’ when exiting South Africa as immigration officials have now been authorised to ban any foreigners for overstaying even by two days.

Issued by:

Nicky Shabolyo



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