Zim Immigration Department spotlights foreign football players

Zimbabwe’s Immigration Department, which has in the last month instigated the arrest of scores of foreign nationals for contravening the Immigration Act, has now spread its tentacles to football amid an avalanche of foreign nationals attending trials at local clubs.

This comes amid renewed clampdown efforts on illegal immigrants following the relaxation of visa requirements in February 2018.

“Foreign footballers engaged for trials may do so on a business visa which is a 30 day permit after which if they are not contracted they will have to return to their countries of origin,” Immigration Department public relations officer Canisia Magaya said.

“Contracted footballers will work on the basis of a Temporary Employment Permit, as mentioned above, which can be extended on the request of the contracting team. Should anyone be aware of any foreign footballer attached to any local teams in all divisions who is working without a permit, they should make a report to the Immigration Department.

“In the past some footballers have been accounted for in terms of non-compliance with the law and appropriate action has been taken against them.

The Immigration Department said government policy is that all foreigners who intend to work in the country will do so on the basis of a work permit which is officially referred to as a Temporary Employment Permit.

“This applies to footballers coming in for trials with teams in all football divisions or those who have been contracted by the various football teams including those in the Premier League,” Magaya continued.