Residence Permit In South Africa
South African Temporary Residence Visa
Temporary residence visa are issued on request to applicants who intend to visit South Africa for a period of over three (3) months but not exceeding three (3) years.
Different Types of Temporary Residence Visa
- Study Visa
issued to foreigners intending to take up studies in South Africa.
- Treaty Visa
issued to foreigners conducting activities in South Africa in terms of an international agreement to which South Africa is a party.
- Relative’s Visa
issued to relatives/spouses of South African citizens or residents intending to move to South Africa and take up permanent residence.
- Medical Visa
issued to foreigners intending to visit South Africa for the purpose of undergoing medical treatment.
- Retired Person’s Visa
issued to retirees intending to live in South Africa only for limited or seasonal periods during the validity of the permit.
- Business Visa
issued to foreigners who intend to establish or invest in a business in South Africa in which they may be employed.
- Work Visa
- General Work Visa
This is a permit issued to all foreigners with general qualifications intending to work in South Africa.
- Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa
issued to foreigners being transferred by their own company to an affiliate company in South Africa.
- Critical Skills Work Visa
issued to applicants in possession of exceptional skills or qualifications that are scarce in in South Africa.
- Corporate Visa
issued by the Department to a corporate applicant. A corporate applicant is defined as a juristic person established under the laws of South Africa or a foreign country as a corporation to employ foreigners to conduct work for such applicant.
- General Work Visa
- Exchange Visa
issued to applicants under the age of 25 years and may only conduct work for one year.
South African Permanent Resident Permit
IMMIGRATION CATEGORIES are divided into 2 major categories. Section 26 and Section 27 .
Section 26 – Direct Residence
which subject to Section 25 of the Immigration Act (2002), the Department shall issue permanent residence permits to four categories of foreigners who are dealt with in Section 26(a-d)
26 (a) refers to a foreigner
- who has been in SA on a work permit for 5 years
- Who has received a permanent offer of employment
- whose employer’s chartered accountant submitted a certification that the post exist and is intended to be filled by such foreigner
- in respect of whom the Dept. of Labor certified that the terms and conditions of the person’s employment are not inferior to those applicable to South African citizens/permanent residents in the same field.
Should a foreigner meet the above requirements, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 years will likewise qualify for permanent residence in the RSA in terms of Section 27 g)
26(b) refers to a spouse of a SA citizen/permanent resident provided that:
- a good faith relationship exist
- a permanent residence permit shall lapse if, within 3 years after the date of application, the relationship no longer exists, except in the case of death.
26(c) refers to a child of a citizen or permanent residence under the age of 21 provided that:
- a permit shall lapse if the child does not submit an application to the Department within 2 years of his/her 21st birthday for confirmation of his/her residential status.
26(d) refers to a child of a citizen above the age of 21.
Section 27 : Residence on Other Grounds
The Department may issue a permanent residence permit to foreigners of good character who qualify for permanent residence status in terms of one of the categories in Section 27 (a-g) of the Act.
The above applications may be submitted at any regional office of DHA. Except for persons mentioned in Sections 27 (a) and (c), who must submit their applications at a regional office in the province where they are employed or where the business is established/invested into.
Section 27(a) Refers to a foreigner;
- who is able to submit an offer of employment
- whose employer’s chartered accountant submitted a certification that the post exists, the position and related job description was advertised in the prescribed manner and that no qualified SA citizen or resident was available to fill the position
- in respect of whom the Department of labor certified that the terms and conditions of such officer, including salary and benefits, are not inferior to those prevailing in relevant market segment for citizens/residents, taking into account the applicable collective bargaining agreements and other applicable standards, if any
- whose application falls within the yearly limits of available permits prescribed from time to time for each sector of industry, trade and commerce, following consultation with the Department of Trade & Industry, Labor and Education.
Should a foreigner meet the above requirements, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 years will likewise qualify for permanent residence status in the RSA, in terms of section 27(g).
Section 27(b) refers to a foreigner who has demonstrated to the Department’s satisfaction, his/her possessing extraordinary skills or qualifications.
Should a foreigner meet the above requirements, his/her immediate family members will likewise qualify to apply for permanent residence in the RSA in terms of Section 27(g).
Section 27(c) refers to a foreigner who:
- intends to establish a business in the RSA; or
- already holds a business permit to conduct a business in RSA; or
- intends to invest in an existing business in the RSA
All three of which must invest or have already invested the prescribed financial contribution which shall be part of is part of the (intended) book value of the business, as certified by the chartered accountant. The Department may waive or reduce the specific capitalization requirements for business which shall from time to time be published , if such a step will be in national interest, or if when the Department of Trade & Industry makes a request to this effect.
The business to be established must be in line with one of the following sectors:
- Information and communication technology
- Clothing and textiles
- Chemicals and biotechnology
- Agro processing
- Metals and minerals
- Automotives and transport
Once permanent residence status has been acquired under this section of the Act, the person concerned has to renew the certification of the chartered accountant two years after permanent residence status has been granted, and again three years later. Failure to do so shall result in the permanent residence permit to lapse. Should a foreigner meet these requirements, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 will likewise qualify for permanent residence in terms of section 27(g). Section 27(d) refers to refugees as referred to in section 27(c) of the Refugees Act, 1998 (Act 130 of 1998). Should a refugee meet these requirements, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 will also qualify to permanent residence in the RSA in terms of Section 27(g).
Section 27(f) refers to foreigners who intend to retire in the RSA (no specific age limit) provided that a chartered accountant certifies that the person concerned has:
- the right to a pension or
- an irrevocable annuity or
- a retirement account
- any of which will give a person a minimum prescribed amount for the rest of his/her life or that person has a minimum prescribed networth of R12M and up on approval a further R120,000 shall be paid to the Director-General.
Should a foreigner meet these requirements, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 will likewise qualify for permanent residence in the RSA in terms of Section 27(g).
Should a retired person wish to work in the RSA, he/she must submit a contract of employment and proof that a South African citizen/resident is not available for the occupation applied for.
Should a refugee meet these requirements, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 will also qualify for permanent residence in the RSA in terms of Section 27(g).
Section 27 (f) refers to a foreigner who has provided a certification by a chartered accountant that he/she has a prescribed minimum networth of R12M and has paid a prescribed fee of R120,000.00 to the Department.
Should a person meet the above requirement, his/her spouse and children under the age of 21 will also qualify to apply for permanent residence in the RSA in terms of Section 27(g).
Section 27(g) refers to a relative or a citizen/resident within the first step of kinship (parents, children and spouses). Specific regulations to be considered are regulations 2, 33(8), 33(20) 33 (21) and 33 (22).
A personal interview is required for all applicants, 21 years and above. Interviews will be conducted by this office or by other South African Missions in North America depending on applicant’s point of residence. If a personal interview is not feasible for the reason that applicant’s point of residence is of great distance from/to the respective South African Mission, a telephonic interview will be considered. Interviews will be arranged by the respective Missions provided that all requirements have been duly complied with by the applicant.
U.S. $127.00: Administrative fee in respect of a formal application for an immigration permit per individual or per family. The fee is non-refundable irrespective of whether the application is approved or not. This is payable upon submission of the formal immigration application.
All fees are non-refundable and must be paid in money order or certified bank check payable to the South African Consulate General-New York.
Formal Applications: 12-18 months
Issuance and Validity of an Immigration Permit
Immigration permits are issued by the Regional Offices of the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa. These permits are forwarded to this office for onward transmission to applicants. The validity period of an immigration permit is twelve (12) months. If the person is unable to arrive in the Republic within this period, an application for extension must be submitted to this office prior to the expiration date. Extensions are granted for a maximum period of six months and require a fee of US$255.00.
Withdrawal of an Immigration Permit
The Minister may withdraw an immigration permit by notice in writing and will order the holder of such permit to leave the Republic within the period indicated in the notice on the basis of the following:
- the application contains false information;
- the holder fails to comply with a condition imposed under Section 25(3);
- the holder, within a period of three (3) years from date of issue of such permit, engages in an occupation other than the occupation stated in the permit, without the consent of the Minister;
- the holder obtained the permit on the basis of a marriage entered into less than two (2) years prior to the date of the issue of the permit and such marriage is judicially annulled or terminated within two years subsequent to the said date;
- the holder did not enter the Republic for the purpose of permanent residence therein, and upon the expiration of the period mentioned in said notice, the permit shall become null and void.
Changes relative to policy matters, legislation and regulations may eventuate at any time subsequent to the above information. It is the responsibility of the reader of this document to make sure at all times that the information contained herein is still relevant. It is therefore suggested that enquiries be made at regular intervals to this office, the nearest South African Mission abroad or the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.