Hundreds of Zimbabweans failing to regularize their status in America are facing various challenges including the collapse of marriages as their spouses are stuck in Zimbabwe.
Dumephi Mema of the Association of Zimbabweans Living Abroad says most of these people are now living illegally in the country.
Mema says individuals who fail to regularize their status end up living in the country illegally while their families back home struggleto survive.
“We have cases where some people live here for more than 10 years without their spouses. This results in the collapse of their marriages,” he said.
He noted that some, who regularize their status, live double lives as they believe that one day they will go back home. “In such cases, they end up not investing here and in Zimbabwe.”
At the same time, Ngqabutho Mabhena of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, says most people feel that the 800 rands being demanded by government for them to regularize their status in the country is reasonable.
Applications for work, business and student permits start in October.
South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says his department is ready to roll out the new Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) for 245,000 permit holders of the previous program implemented in 2009.
There will be 10 application centers and 120 staff members to deal directly with ZSP permits. Zimbabweans must apply online before being called for interviews at application centers.
The application centers include four new centers in the provinces of Gauteng (Midrand), Western Cape (Cape Town), Limpopo (Polokwane) and Kwazulu-Natal (Durban). The remaining six centers are in George, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit and Rustenburg.
Zimbabweans seeking to regularize their stay should apply online from October 1st. Interviews are expected from November 1st to April 30th, 2015.