You know what a braai is, you greet people with “Howzit” and you are still not sure about the lyrics of the South African National Anthem… chances are, you are ready to apply for Permanent Residence in South Africa.
Permanent Residence Permit – a permit solution for those serious about South Africa
Although temporary residence is usually granted to foreigners who are living and working in South Africa, some applicants may prefer to obtain a Permanent Residence Permit. Immigrants with the means to make a significant contribution to expanding the South African economy are well placed to be granted a Permanent Residency Permit.
With a few exceptions (including the right to vote), Permanent Residence in South Africa grants recipients similar rights and privileges enjoyed by South African citizens.
Prospective immigrants should be aware of the fact that Immigration to South Africa normally consists of two steps. The first step involves the preparation and submission of your application for Permanent Residency in South Africa, while the second step involves an interview with an official at the Department of Home Affairs. As a result of this requirement most prospective immigrants will start the process by initially obtaining a Temporary Permit.
The issue of a South African Permanent Residence Visa grants holders unrestricted access to South Africa. Under certain circumstances and some visa categories the visa will be issued with conditions and restrictions, which will mostly fall away after a minimum period of at least 5 years.
Successful applicants may, after receiving their Permanent Residency certificate apply for a South African Identity Document.
South African Permanent Residence Permit Requirements:
As a foreign national you must be able to prove that you have lived in South Africa with a valid permit /visa for a period of no less than 5 years before applying for South African citizenship. Please note, if you are the wife or husband of a South African citizen, you still have to be married for 5 years.
Permanent Residency holders who are absent for periods of three years or longer may lose their right to Permanent Residency in South Africa, unless they return for a short period within the longer absence.
South African Permanent Resident status does not influence the holder’s original citizenship, and as a result he/she may be issued with a South African (ID) Identity Document on the grounds of a “non-citizen”, but not a South African passport.
How to qualify for a Permanent Residency Permit:
To be able to qualify for South African Permanent Residency you must have been living in South Africa for a no less than five years as a result of your current work permit; as a result your spouse and also your dependents will then be given Permanent Residency status and issued permits to such an affect.
Permanent Residence can be issued to foreign nationals who:
- Possess a permanent employment offer
- Possess a Critical Skills qualification
- Plan to start their own business venture in South Africa
- Are able to claim Refugee status
- Are related to a South African citizen
- Are financially independent
- Have been with a South African Life Partner or Permanent Residency holder for more than 5 years
There are a multitude of avenues to explore in your quest for Permanent Residency status in South Africa, Initiate Immigration can guide and advise you on the most appropriate steps to take in applying for your South African immigration permit/ visa.
Should you have any questions with regard to the Permanent Residency Permit, please feel free to get in contact with one of our experienced immigration consultants.
Updated according to Immigration Act 2014