LSP extended to 31 December
SOUTH African Home Affairs authorities have extended the grace period for Lesotho nationals living and working in South Africa illegally to apply for the Lesotho Special Permit (LSP) to 31 December 2016.
This was revealed in a statement this week by VFS Global, a consultancy company partnering the government in the LSP process.
The LSP which was first announced in January 2016, is aimed at enabling the estimated 400 000 Basotho residents in South Africa to legally reside, work and study in that country legally.
The permit is valid for four years. The initial application process began in March 2016 and was due to end in June 2016. There have been two extensions since then, culminating in this final extension to 31 December 2016.
The Department of Home Affairs has indicated that there would be no further extensions beyond this grace period and Basotho living in South Africa illegally would be deported.
“A total of 102 316 Lesotho nationals, that is more than a quarter of the estimated Basotho living in South Africa, have submitted online applications. Of these, 64 427 applicants have made the necessary payments and scheduled appointments at VFS Global offices,” reads part of the statement.
“Applicants need to apply and pay for their permits by 31 December 2016 to ensure their applications are processed.
“Basotho are urged not to wait till the last minute to apply for this permit and should visit the nearest VFS Global-operated application centre as soon as possible. There are limited appointments available each day and early application will help to avoid disappointment,” the statement further reads.
VFS said applicants who had only produced Lesotho identity cards needed to provide their valid passports not later than 31 March 2017.
The consultancy said the applicants could now deposit their payment at any Standard Bank branch using their Lesotho ID numbers as the reference number, adding the deposit slip should be kept and presented as proof of payment when visiting the VFS Global centre to “enroll biometrics and complete the process”.
VFS also urged Lesotho nationals who had applied to phone the VFS call centre to check if their permits were ready for collection and proceed to collect them.