How Long Does it Take to Get Permanent Residency

How Long Does it Take to Get Permanent Residency in South Africa?

With a reputation as the land of beauty and opportunity, South Africa has long been a top choice for immigration. From Cape Town to Johannesburg or anywhere in between, life in South Africa is incomparable.

If you prefer avoiding the administrative hassle of renewing a temporary visa, permanent residency is for you. Provided that you meet the requirements as stated in the Immigration Act, the overall process is similar to renewing your visa from within South Africa.

However, with the good news must come the bad. The greatest disadvantage when applying for permanent residency is the application processing period. According to VFS Global and the Department of Home Affairs, the expected turnaround time for an application is 8 to 24 months. This estimation is from date of submission and varies depending on the category applied under. It is not unheard of to have applications (especially for spousal or retirement) sit for four years or longer.

Categories finalized within 8 months are meant to include extra-ordinary skills, general work and business applications. All other categories are meant to be finalized between 12 to 24 months. However, this is an estimate, and we strongly advise applicants to be patient and prepare for delays.

While waiting for your permanent residency to be adjudicated, it is imperative that you maintain your temporary residency status. The overall process of applying for temporary residency is much shorter, allowing applicants to legally reside and work while awaiting permanent residency approval.

Regardless of your reasons for seeking permanent residency, untimely delays are never welcome. In our experience, most applicants do experience delays in the processing of their permanent residency. This is unacceptable in the eyes of South African law and can be challenged in terms of administrative legislation. We strongly advise individuals to work with an immigration attorney from the start to ensure a smooth process.

If you would like a hassle-free experience, let June Luna Immigration Attorneys be your guide. With years of experience, our team of experts will handle the administration and obtain an outcome through litigation if necessary.

For more information on obtaining permanent residency or following up on an existing application that has stalled, please contact our team.