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Permanent Resident Permits in South Africa

Information about the regulations for permanent residence permits in South Africa…

There are a number of different types of permanent residence permits available to those wishing to reside in South Africa on a long-term basis. Different conditions apply for the different categories of application.

There are different types of permanent residence permits:

Foreigner with five years continuous work permit status: Foreigners who have had a work permit in South Africa for at least five years and are still in employment or have had an offer of employment are eligible for this type of permanent residence visa.

Applicants have to be over 21 and speak one of the 11 official languages.

Spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident for a continuous period of five years: A spouse who is married to a South African citizen or permanent resident for at least five years and can provide proof of that relationship may apply for this permanent residence visa. If the marriage dissolves within two years of the permit being issued, the permit is withdrawn.

Child of a South African citizen or permanent resident under 21 years: Children of South African citizens or permanent residents under 18 years old may apply for a permanent residence permit under this category. However, it is necessary to reapply for this permit within two years after the child turns 21.

Child of a South African citizen: This type of visa applies for children of a South African citizen regardless of age. They may apply for residence on the basis of the right to citizenship by birth or descent; as long as the parents are South African citizens, the child can apply for permanent residency.

Workers: Foreigner workers who are found to be of good character and have an offer of permanent employment may apply for this type of permanent residence permit.

Extraordinary skills or qualifications: Foreigners deemed by the Director-General to possess extraordinary skills or qualifications may be eligible to get a permanent residence permit under this category.

Establishing a business or investing in an existing business: Foreigners who want to start a business or invest in an existing business may be eligible for a permanent residence visa under this category.

Refugees: Refugees meeting requirements set under the Refugee Act may be eligible for a permanent residence permit under this category.

Retired person: Foreigners wishing to retire in South Africa who have a high net worth or a minimum pension amount per year may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Financially independent: Foreigners who have a minimum net worth are able to apply to the Director-General for a permanent residence permit.

Relatives of South African citizens or permanent residents: Relatives of a citizen or a permanent resident within the first step of kinship may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Fees

It is necessary to pay a fee for a permanent residence permit. Spouses of South African citizens, dependent children and refugees are not required to pay a fee.

Documentation

Any required documentation which is not in one of the official languages must be translated by a sworn translator and proof of the registration of the translator must also be submitted.

  • For a list of official languages in South Africa: Click here
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