On 27 September 2016, the DHA announced that Lesotho nationals may now apply for the Lesotho Special Permits (LSP) at the VFS application centres without their passports.
Lesotho nationals are still able to apply for the Lesotho Special Permit physically at the DHA offices till 31 December 2016, as the online applications have closed 30 September 2016. However, it is being considered that the online applications might get an extended time frame.
Prior to this new announcement, Lesotho nationals were required to have a valid passport that had to be valid for four years, or a travel document with a Lesotho ID number in order to get permission to stay in South Africa legally.
Since a passport is no longer required, the following requirements need to be met by applicants in order to obtain a Lesotho Special Permit:
- Have a Lesotho ID card and be registered on the National Population Register of Lesotho.
- A police clearance certificate from Lesotho of a Lesotho national who have been in South Africa for less than 12 months. The police clearance should not be older than 6 months.
- There will be no need to apply for a South African Police Clearance Certificate as the DHA in South Africa will obtain these certificates on behalf of all the Lesotho Special Permit applicants.
- Proof of employment or an affidavit from the employer to be submitted by the applicant in order to be issued with a Lesotho Special Work Permit.
- Supporting documents or letters from the applicant’s employer or school to support the applicant’s residency prior to 30 September 2015, if the applicant wishes to register with an educational institution.
The special dispensation is for Lesotho nationals who are working, studying or running businesses in The Republic of South Africa and have been in the country in such capacity prior to 30 September 2016.
It needs to be noted that any South African documents that may have been fraudulently obtained, need to be surrendered to the DHA offices in order to receive an amnesty letter. Those who wish to comply will also be able to apply for the Lesotho Special Permits.
Applicants who have submitted their applications, but have not done their payments yet; have also received an extension to make their payments by 31 December 2016.
To avoid deportation, Lesotho nationals must ensure to regularise their stay before the end of December 2016.