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Immigration Act [Chapter 4:02]

IMMIGRATION ACT

Acts 18/1979, 32/1979 (s. 16), 29/1981 (s. 59), 13/1983 (s. 21), 23/1984 (s. 24), 8/2000; 22/2001 (s. 4), S.I.78/1987.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

PRELIMINARY Section

  1. Short title.

3A.   Marriages of convenience.

  1. Application of Act despite entry into Zimbabwe. PART II

ADMINISTRATION

  1. Chief Immigration Officer and immigration officers.
  2. Delegation of functions of Minister.
  3. Powers of search and inquiry of immigration officers.
  4. Functions of immigration officers in respect of prohibited persons and others.
  5. Detention of persons.
  6. Duty of officer in charge of prison or police cell. PART III

ENTRY INTO ZIMBABWE

  1. Ports of entry.
  2. Persons entering Zimbabwe to appear before and comply with directions of immigration officer.
  3. Production of travel documents by persons entering Zimbabwe.
  4. Prohibited persons.
  5. Persons who are not prohibited persons.
  6. Exemptions by Minister from section 14.
  7. Prohibition of entry of prohibited person.
  8. Refusal of entry to potential prohibited person.
  9. Endorsement of return tickets.

PART IV

APPEALS ANDREVIEWS

  1. Jurisdiction of courts.
  2. Representations to Minister.

PART V

DEPARTUREFROM ZIMBABWE

  1. Ports of exit.
  2. Persons departing from Zimbabwe to appear before and comply with directions of immigration officer.
  3. Production of travel documents by persons departing from Zimbabwe.
  4. Prohibition of departure of person contrary to this Part.
  5. Impounding of travel documents unlawfully acquired or possessed.

PART VI

ALIENS

  1. Additional restrictions on immigration of aliens.
  2. Exemption from section 29.
  3. Visitors entry certificate.
  4. Production of documents.

PART VII

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

  1. Attempt to influence issue of permit.
  2. Re-entry of prohibited person.
  3. Escape from lawful detention or custody.
  4. Other offences.
  5. Forfeiture of vehicles, aircraft or boats.

PART VIII

GENERAL

  1. Persons in transit through Zimbabwe.

38A. Liability of air carriers where passengers fail to produce valid documents.

  1. Minister may amend Schedule.

SCHEDULE

Specified Offences.

AN ACT to regulate the entry of persons into and the departure of persons from Zimbabwe; to prohibit the entry into and to provide for the removal from Zimbabwe of certain persons; to provide for the control of aliens; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing

[Date of commencement: 1st June, 1979.]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Immigration Act [Chapter 4:02].

                             2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“alien” means a person who is not a Zimbabwe citizen;

“Chief Immigration Officer” means the Chief Immigration Officer referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection

(1) of section five;

“domicile” has the meaning assigned thereto in section three;

“immigration officer” means— (a) the Chief Immigration Officer;

  • an immigration officer referred to in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section five;
  • to the extent that the powers and duties of an immigration officer are conferred or imposed on any person in terms of subsection (2) of section five, any such person;

“Minister” means the Minister of Home Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“permit” means a permit issued in terms of this Act;

“port of entry” means any place prescribed as a port of entry;

“port of exit” means any place prescribed as a port of exit;

“prohibited person” means any person who, in terms of this Act, is deemed or declared to be a prohibited person;

“repealed Act” means the Departure from Rhodesia (Control) Act [Chapter 24 of 1974], the Deportation Act

[Chapter 25 of 1974] or the Immigration Act [Chapter 27 of 1974];

“students permit” means a students permit issued in terms of this Act;

“temporary employment permit” means a temporary employment permit issued in terms of this Act;

“temporary permit” means a temporary permit issued in terms of this Act;

“travel document” means a passport or other document of identity of a class recognized by the Minister which is issued by or on behalf of the Government or any other government or other authority recognized by the Government;

“Zimbabwe citizen” means a citizen of Zimbabwe in terms of the laws relating to citizenship.

                             3    Domicile

(1) Subject to this section, a person shall be regarded, for the purposes of this Act, as being domiciled in a country if—

  • he resides permanently in that country; or
  • that country is the country to which he returns as a permanent resident.

(2) A person who resides in Zimbabwe by virtue of the fact that—

  • he has been allowed to enter or remain in Zimbabwe through error, oversight, misrepresentation or a contravention of this Act or a repealed Act; or
  • it has not been discovered that he is a prohibited person or an alien; shall not acquire a domicile in Zimbabwe.

(3) No person shall, for the purposes of this Act, have a domicile in Zimbabwe unless he has lawfully ordinarily resided therein for a continuous period of ten years, which period shall not include— (a) any period during which a person has—

  • been detained in any prison, reformatory or mental hospital in or outside Zimbabwe; or
  • resided in Zimbabwe in terms of any permit other than a residence permit; or

(b) any period of residence of a person while he is such a person as is described in paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of section fifteen or who has entered Zimbabwe in terms of a convention or scheme referred to in paragraph (f) of that subsection:

Provided that, where the President, in terms of the proviso to subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section 4 of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 4:01], has authorized the Minister responsible for the administration of that Act to accept a shorter period than ten years for the registration of a person as a citizen of Zimbabwe, the reference in this subsection to ten years shall be deemed in respect of such person to be a reference to such shorter period.

[Subsection amended by s. 2 of Act 8/2000.]

(4) Subject to subsection (5)—

  • a person shall, for the purposes of this Act, lose his domicile in Zimbabwe if he—
    • has voluntarily departed from and resides outside Zimbabwe with the intention of making his home outside Zimbabwe; or
    • is absent from Zimbabwe for a continuous period of five years or such longer period as the Minister may, at his request, fix before the expiry of that period:

Provided that the Minister may, in special circumstances, fix a longer period in terms of this subparagraph after the expiry of the period of five years;

[Subparagraph amended by s. 2 of Act 8/2000.]

  • the fact that a person has taken up residence outside Zimbabwe shall be prima facie evidence of his intention of making his home outside Zimbabwe and the onus of proving otherwise shall be on the person who status is in question;
  • the fact that a person who was domiciled in Zimbabwe has made any statement, whether for the purposes of this Act or any other enactment or otherwise, to the effect that he is no longer a resident or no longer regards himself as a resident of Zimbabwe shall be prima facie evidence that he has lost his domicile in Zimbabwe.

(5) Any period during which a person—

  • resides outside Zimbabwe by reason of his service—
    • with the State; or
    • with an international organization of which Zimbabwe is a member; or
    • in the employment of—
      1. a person resident in Zimbabwe; or
      2. a society, body of persons or company, the central control and management of which are in Zimbabwe; or
      3. a body incorporated directly by a law in force in Zimbabwe;

or

  • resides outside Zimbabwe on account of ill health or disability; or
  • resides outside Zimbabwe to attend any educational institution; or
  • resides outside Zimbabwe, having left Zimbabwe for a reason described in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1) of section 3 of the Refugees Act [Chapter 4:03]; or
  • who is the wife of a person referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d), is absent from Zimbabwe for the purpose of being with him; shall not be taken into account for the purpose of determining the length of that person’s absence from Zimbabwe or that of a child under the age of eighteen years of that person who accompanies that person, nor shall such residence be regarded as evidence of an intention of making a home outside Zimbabwe.

(6) A request made in terms of subsection (1) of section 13 of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 4:01] shall, for the purposes of this Act, be treated as a request made to the Minister in terms of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of subsection (4).

3A Marriages of convenience

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, if an immigration officer is satisfied that two persons, either or both of whom are not lawfully ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe—

  • have married each other primarily for the purpose of obtaining a right of entry into Zimbabwe for either or both of them; or
  • have married each other without any intention of living together as a married couple in Zimbabwe; those persons shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, not to be married to each other.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), if two married persons have not lived together since their marriage ceremony was performed it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that they married each other without any intention of living together as a married couple.

[Section inserted by s. 3 of Act 8/2000.]

                             4    Application of Act despite entry into Zimbabwe

No person shall be exempted from the provisions of this Act or allowed to remain in Zimbabwe by virtue only of the fact that—

  • he had not been informed that he could not enter or remain in Zimbabwe; or
  • he had been allowed to enter or remain in Zimbabwe through error, oversight, misrepresentation or a contravention of this Act or a repealed Act; or
  • it had not been discovered that he was a prohibited person or an alien. PART II

ADMINISTRATION

                             5    Chief Immigration Officer and immigration officers

(1) For the purposes of this Act, there shall be—

  • a Chief Immigration Officer; and
  • such number of immigration officers as may be required; whose offices shall be public offices and form part of the Public Service.

(2) The Minister may confer or impose all or any of the functions of an immigration officer in terms of this

Act upon any person who is a police officer or any person who is employed by the State and, in the opinion of the Minister, is qualified to exercise those functions.

                             6    Delegation of functions of Minister

  • Subject to such conditions as he may fix, the Minister may, in relation to all cases or any case or class of cases, confer or impose upon any immigration officer or class of immigration officers all or any of his functions in terms of this Act, other than his functions in terms of paragraph (a) or (g) of subsection (1) and subsections (6) and (7) of section fourteen, paragraph (f) of subsection (2) of section fifteen and section forty-one.
  • The Minister may withdraw any function conferred or imposed in terms of subsection (1).

                             7    Powers of search and inquiry of immigration officers

(1) An immigration officer may, for the purpose of exercising his functions under this Act— (a) enter upon and search any aircraft, boat, train, motor vehicle or premises in Zimbabwe:

Provided that an immigration officer may not enter or search any premises unless he believes on reasonable grounds that evidence relating to a contravention of this Act is to be found on those premises;

  • subject to subsection (2), search any person where he believes on reasonable grounds that the search is necessary for the prevention or detection of a contravention of this Act;
  • take the finger-prints, palm-prints and photograph of any person who is, or is on reasonable grounds suspected of being, a prohibited person;
  • question any person who desires to enter or leave Zimbabwe or whom he believes on reasonable grounds to be a prohibited person or an alien;
  • require the captain of an aircraft, the master of a boat, the guard or conductor of a train or the person in charge of a motor vehicle arriving from any place outside or about to depart from Zimbabwe, to furnish

a list of all persons in the aircraft, boat, train or motor vehicle, as the case may be, together with such other information as may be prescribed, and the person concerned shall comply with such requirements.

(2) When it is desired to search the body of a woman in terms of paragraph (b) of subsection (1), the search, unless made by a medical practitioner, shall be made only by a woman and shall be conducted with strict regard to decency and, if there is no woman available for such search who is an immigration officer, the search may be made by any woman specially named for the purpose by an immigration officer.

                             8   Functions of immigration officers in respect of prohibited persons and others

  • Subject to section nine, an immigration officer may arrest any person whom he suspects on reasonable grounds to have entered or to be in Zimbabwe in contravention of this Act and may detain such person for such reasonable period, not exceeding fourteen days, as may be required for the purpose of making inquiries as to such person’s identity, antecedents and national status and any other fact relevant to the question of whether such person is a prohibited person.
  • Subject to subsections (5) and (6), an immigration officer may—
  • subject to subsection (3), remove or cause to be removed from Zimbabwe any prohibited person; and
  • pending the completion of arrangements for the removal of a person in terms of paragraph (a) and such removal, subject to section nine, detain that person.

(3) In relation to the removal of a prohibited person in terms of paragraph (a) of subsection (2)—

  • the Chief Immigration Officer may direct the route by which, and the place to which, such prohibited person shall be removed; and
  • the person removing such prohibited person may take, or cause to be taken, all such measures as may be reasonably necessary to effect the removal of such prohibited person.

(4) When—

  • leave to enter Zimbabwe is refused or any person is informed for the first time that he is a prohibited person in terms of this Act, notice in writing specifying the provision of this Act under which leave to enter Zimbabwe is refused or the person is a prohibited person, as the case may be, shall be given to the person concerned;

Provided that, whenever it is alleged that, by virtue of section three A, the person is deemed not to be married for the purposes of this Act, the notice shall specify the grounds on which he is deemed by virtue of that section not to be married;

[Proviso inserted by s. 4 of Act 8/2000.]

  • any person is arrested or detained in terms of subsection (1) or (2), he shall be informed forthwith of the reason for his arrest or detention, as the case may be.

(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply in relation to a person who—

  • is exempted in terms of section sixteen, until his exemption is withdrawn; or
  • is the holder of a temporary permit or students permit, until the permit is cancelled or withdrawn or otherwise for any reason ceases to be valid.

(6) A person shall not be removed from Zimbabwe in terms of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) until the period referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section twenty-one has expired or, if he appeals in terms of that section or makes representations in terms of subsection (1) of section twenty-three, until his appeal is dismissed, abandoned or withdrawn or the decision in connection with which the representations are made is confirmed, as the case may be, but, subject to section nine, he may be detained during such period:

Provided that, where a person has been refused leave to enter Zimbabwe, he shall not be entitled to enter or remain in Zimbabwe for the purpose of noting or prosecuting his appeal or making representations to the Minister, as the case may be, or to be present at the hearing of an appeal and, if he has entered Zimbabwe, he shall forthwith leave Zimbabwe.

                             9    Detention of persons

  • Subject to subsection (2), a person may be detained in terms of section eight in a prison, police cell or other convenient place.
  • Subject to subsection (3) and to such other conditions as he may fix, the Minister may permit a person detained in terms of subsection (1), with or without sureties, to enter into a bond for his release in an amount approved by the Minister and may require that person to deposit such sum as he may fix to satisfy any judgment which may be given on the bond.
  • The conditions of the bond entered into in terms of subsection (2) shall specify that such person shall— (a) appear within such period and before such person as may be specified in the bond; and

(b) report himself to the immigration officer or such other person as may be specified in the bond at such times as may be fixed in the bond.

(4) Upon breach of any condition of a bond entered into in terms of subsection (2), any magistrates court may, on the application of the Minister, give judgment against the person referred to in that subsection or his sureties in accordance with the bond, and such person may be arrested and detained in a prison, police cell or other convenient place until any inquiries have been completed or, if he is found to be a prohibited person, until he is removed from Zimbabwe.

10 Duty of officer in charge of prison or police cell

An officer in charge of a prison or police cell shall receive into custody or retain in custody any person detained or to be detained in terms of section eight when required in writing by an immigration officer to do so, and any person detained in a prison solely by virtue of this section shall be treated as a person awaiting trial.

PART III

ENTRY INTO ZIMBABWE

11 Ports of entry

  • Subject to subsection (2), no person shall enter Zimbabwe at any place other than a port of entry.
  • Subsection (1) shall not apply to—
  • any person who, having been authorized by the Minister to enter Zimbabwe at a place other than a port of entry, complies with the terms and conditions of such authority; or
  • an entry into Zimbabwe by a person who remains within Zimbabwe after such entry as a recognized refugee or protected person in terms of the Refugees Act [Chapter 4:03].
  • A prohibited person who is permitted by or under this Act to enter or re-enter Zimbabwe shall not enter or re-enter Zimbabwe at any port of entry other than that through which his entry or re-entry has been authorized by an immigration officer.
  • In any prosecution for a contravention of— (a) subsection (1)—
    • the onus of proving that that subsection did not apply to him shall lie upon the accused; and
    • if it is proved that the accused entered Zimbabwe, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he entered Zimbabwe at a place other than a port of entry;

(b) subsection (3), if it is proved that the accused entered Zimbabwe, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he entered Zimbabwe at a port of entry other than an authorized port of entry.

(5) Any person who—

  • contravenes subsection (1) or (3); or
  • contravenes or fails to comply with any term or condition referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection (2); shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as amended by Act 22 of 2001]

12 Persons entering Zimbabwe to appear before and comply with directions of immigration officer

(1) Subject to subsection (2) and any regulations referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section forty-one, any person who enters Zimbabwe shall, on arrival at a port of entry— (a) present himself to an immigration officer; or

(b) if an immigration officer is not at the time on duty or available at the port of entry, remain at the port of entry until an immigration officer comes on duty or becomes available and then present himself to the immigration officer; and shall comply with such directions as may be prescribed.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a person referred to in—

  • paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section eleven, who enters Zimbabwe in accordance with the terms and conditions of the authority referred to therein; or
  • paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section eleven, in respect of this last entry into Zimbabwe before becoming a recognized refugee or protected person in terms of the Refugees Act [Chapter 4:03].

(3) An immigration officer may require any person presenting himself in terms of subsection (1) to do all or any of the following—

  • to produce a valid travel document and submit to an appropriate endorsement being made therein;
  • tomake and sign a declaration in the prescribed form;
  • to produce documentary or other evidence relative to his claim to enter or remain in Zimbabwe;
  • to submit to any examination or test to which he may lawfully be subjected in terms of this Act;
  • if he is suspected of being afflicted or infected with or suffering from any disease or being afflicted with any infirmity of mind or body or physical incapacity which under this Act would render him a prohibited person, to submit to an examination by a Government medical officer or such other medical practitioner as may be designated by the Minister; and any person so required shall comply with such requirement.
  • Subject to this Act, an immigration officer shall permit a person who complies with the requirements of subsection (3) to enter Zimbabwe if he is satisfied that such person is not a prohibited person or a person referred to in subsection (1) of section

[Subsection amended by s. 5 of Act 8/2000.]

  • Any person found in Zimbabwe who is suspected by an immigration officer, on reasonable grounds, of being a prohibited person or of having entered Zimbabwe in contravention of this Act or a repealed Act may be required to appear before an immigration officer and the provisions of subsection (3) shall apply, mutatis mutandis.

(5a) Any person who—

  • contravenes subsection (1) or (3); or
  • fails without just cause to appear before an immigration office when required to do so in terms of subsection (4);

shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection amended by Act 22 of 2001]

(6) If, in any prosecution for a contravention of subsection (1), it is proved that the accused entered Zimbabwe, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he failed, on arrival at a port of entry, to present himself to an immigration officer and comply with the directions referred to in that subsection.

13 Production of travel documents by persons entering Zimbabwe

(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall enter Zimbabwe unless, if he is— (a) of the age of sixteen years or over, he is—

  • in possession of a valid travel document issued to him; or
  • accompanied by another person who is in possession of a valid travel document issued jointly to that other person and the person entering Zimbabwe;

or

(b) under the age of sixteen years, he is—

  • in possession of a valid travel document issued to him; or
  • accompanied by another person who is in possession of a valid travel document issued to that other person in which are endorsed the particulars of that person entering Zimbabwe.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any person who—

  • enters Zimbabwe as a bona fide member of the crew of an aircraft used as public transport or of a train; or

is given a permit to enter Zim

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