Permanent Residency Process South Africa

Permanent Residency Process South Africa

South Africa welcomes immigrants who can make a significant contribution to expanding the country’s economic basis. Before applying for a permanent residency visa, you must first demonstrate to the Minister of Home Affairs why you should not be designated as a restricted or undesirable person.

An application for permanent residency status can be made only once the Minister of Home Affairs has proclaimed a prospective immigrant not to be a prohibited/undesirable person.

If you and your spouse have lived in South Africa on the basis of your work visa for a minimum of five years, you are eligible for a direct permanent residence permit. Dependants of South African nationals or permanent residents are also eligible to apply. 

Other grounds for permanent residency apply to foreigners who:

  • are in possession of a permanent work offer in South Africa
  • have exceptional skills and qualifications
  • intend to establish a business in South Africa
  • qualify as refugees in terms of Section 27(c) of the Refugees Act 
  • qualify as retired persons
  • are financially independents
  • are relatives (biologically or judicially adopted) of a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder. 

To apply for a direct residency permit, you will need to fill out Form BI-947.

You must provide the following documentation in addition to completing and submitting Form BI-947:

  • A complete set of fingerprints
  • If applicable, a marriage certificate / proof of marital relationship
  • If applicable, a divorce decree or proof of legal separation
  • Proof of minor custody, if applicable
  • If applicable, a death certificate for a deceased spouse
  • In the case of children, parental consent is required.
  • If applicable, proof of judicial adoption of a minor
  • Police clearance certificates for all countries where you have lived for a year or more since the age of 18 A valid temporary residency visa (if already in South Africa).

Please contact us if you have any questions about the permanent residency process in South Africa or how we may help with a pending application.