Online waiver application: What are they, and how can you apply?

Online waiver application: What are they, and how can you apply?

Visa application and renewal is a long process with several documents and requirements to be met. However, sometimes you may be unable to meet all the regulatory requirements for reasons beyond your control. The problem can be rectified through online waiver applications in South Africa.

DHA logo and South African flag
Waiver applications are made to South Africa's DHA for approval. Photo: @homeaffairsza on Facebook (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Foreigners immigrate to South Africa for various reasons, including employment, business, studying, or as refugees. There are different types of visas and permits to apply depending on your reason for staying in the country.

What is a waiver application?

A waiver application is a formal request written to the Department of Home Affairs asking them to relinquish certain requirements for a visa or permit application. The waiver application, if approved by DHA, gives you a free pass.

The type of VFS application you make depends on the type of visa. Some of the scenarios under which a waiver may be applicable include the following:

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  • The applicant does not have a police clearance certificate.
  • The applicant cannot go back to their home country to apply for a temporary residence visa.
  • The applicant does not have the required NQF level qualification for a specific critical skills category, but their experience can be considered instead.
  • Businesses applying for a blanket waiver for a similar requirement for the corporate visa.
  • The applicant wants the required investment amount of R5 million for a business visa reduced. This waiver can only be successful if there is a positive outcome from the Department of Trade and Industry.
A South African flag, passport, and visa application form
View of South African visa application form. Photo: Mirsad Sarajlic
Source: UGC

How to apply for a waiver in South Africa online?

Online waiver applications can be made to the South African Department of Home Affairs through VFS Global, which handles all immigration-related applications. Ensure to complete these crucial steps:

  • Write a letter of waiver stating all the valid reasons why it should be considered.
  • Complete the DHA Form 48, which can be downloaded from the DHA website. The sections include the applicant's personal details, details about spouse and children (where applicable), employment record, and areas of the regulation to be waived.
  • Ensure you have all the supporting documents to be attached before submitting the VFS waiver application.

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Requirements for a waiver application

You can only submit the VFS waiver application if you have a valid form of residence, including valid refugee or immigration status. The attached supporting documents depend on the type of waiver applied for.

How do I write a letter of waiver for immigration?

The letter submitted during the VFS online application in South Africa should be written in formal language. The contents should only state facts by clearly laying out the reasons for the waiver.

The reasons must be valid because if any of the details are found to be false or misleading, the application will be rejected. If misleading information is discovered after the waiver has been approved, the applicant will not be allowed to reside in South Africa.

An approved visa application form
A waiver enables you to get an approved visa even without meeting the waived requirements in South Africa. Photo: Maybefalse
Source: Getty Images

How long does a waiver application take to be approved?

The application can take four months up to one year to be processed by the Department of Home Affairs, which may approve or reject it. It is, therefore, crucial to apply early before your visa or permit expires.

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VFS ZEP waiver application

The Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) was introduced in 2017 for valid Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) holders. ZEP allows the holders to remain in South Africa for study or work purposes. The application is currently closed, but you can visit the VFS Global website for the latest developments.

Can you go to VFS in South Africa without an appointment?

If you need urgent visa application services, VFS Global can serve you without a pre-booked appointment. The service is applicable at any Visa Application Centre if you missed your appointment, turned up late, or booked an appointment but urgently need an earlier date.

South African flag on white background with check box and pen
Immigration-related application services are handled by DHA through VFS Global. Photo: Mirsad Sarajlic
Source: Getty Images

Online waiver applications should be made right for the process to be smooth and fruitful. For more details, you can visit the Department of Home Affairs or seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer.

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Source: Briefly News

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