South-African-permanent-residency

Permanent residency is not that permanent

Most people are unaware of the fact that a South African permanent residence permit (“PRP”) may be withdrawn by the Department of Home Affairs.

South African residence permit can be withdrawin

There are four prevalent reasons for the withdrawal of a permanent residency permit, namely where:

  • A PRP holder is convicted of a serious criminal offence or an offence in terms of the Immigration Act;
  • A PRP holder has failed to comply with the specific terms and conditions of his or her permit;
  • A PRP holder has been absent from South Africa for more than 3 years; and
  • A PRP holder has not taken up residence in South Africa within 1 year of the issuance of such permit.

How long ban can last

The three year period referred to above is required to be continuous, meaning that any entry and sojourn in South Africa will interrupt the period of absence. The Act does, however, make provision for an application to be made by a PRP holder in terms of which he or she seeks to extend the aforementioned period. This application must be made prior to the expiration of the three year period and the applicant is required to show good cause as to why the period should be extended.

Exceptions to the rule

Exceptions to the rule that one will forfeit his or her PRP if absent from South Africa for more than 3 years are made where:

  • The PRP holder was residing abroad in the service of the State;
  • The PRP holder was residing abroad whilst a representative/employee of a person or association of persons resident or established in South Africa;
  • The PRP holder was residing abroad while in the service of an international organization of which the State is a member;

or

  • In the case of the spouse or dependent child of the abovementioned persons, where the spouse or dependent child was residing with such person; and
  • In the case of the spouse or dependent child of a South African citizen, where the spouse or dependent child was residing with such citizen.

The periods envisioned in the above exceptions will not be taken into account when computing the three year period. Notwithstanding the aforegoing, if you are a PRP holder who intends to be out of South Africa for an extended period, it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to ensure your status is protected.

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South-African-permanent-residency

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46 Comments

  1. I am a holder of Refugee Status for the past seven years.I applied for permanent residence for me , my wife and two children last year in February.I was assured I would be told the result within 6 months.Up to now no response of even acknowledging receipt of my application.Can someone tell me,what must I do next?My life is in limbo

  2. More information on how to get a permanent residence permit .I have been in South Africa for six years and working

  3. I want more information on how to apply for a permanent residence permit I have been in South Africa for six years and working using general work permit

  4. what must i do i have been in relationship with a citizen fr almost five yrs nw, i need to get a marriage certificate bt i don’t go to church so that i can get a letter of engagement frm pastor like what i was told to do by dha official, a letter that enables me to get the marriage certificate from home affairs.

  5. Hi all

    @Dennis, unfortunately we do not specialize in Refugee or Asylum Statuses at this stage. With other PR applications that we have done, the waiting period is anything from 8 – 18 months. You will have to contact your local Home Affairs (DHA) to find out what the status of the application is, but please note that the internal tracking system for the DHA is currently offline, which means the local offices cannot provide feedback on pending applications at the moment. They would however be able to do so once the system is working running again. If you still cannot find help at the DHA, I would suggest approaching a service provider that specializes in Refugee affairs in your local area.

    @Michael, you would qualify for PR based on 5 years’ continuous work visas, granted that your work visas are continuous and not interrupted by even 1 day. If last-mentioned is the case, the count will reset and start counting towards 5 years all over. Do you have 5 years’ continuous work visas?

    @Jonathan, you do not need to involve a pastor or anyone form a church. You can register your marriage at Home Affairs directly. This link will explain the process: http://www.dha.gov.za:8087/index.php/marriage-certificates. You will simply conduct and register the marriage at Home Affairs, or it can be officiated by any registered marriage officer (not only pastors or religious figures) in a venue of your choice.

  6. I am on a business permit that expires in August 2016.how can I obtain a permanent residence?

  7. I hold a permanent residence certificate and hold a south African ID. My new employer is asking for my work permit?
    I thought as a Permanent resident with an rsa I will not be requested for a work permit?

  8. Hi Kenias, if you are a permanent resident, then you are not obliged to possess or produce a work visa.

  9. Hello . I have a permanent residency in South Africa and I went for a job interview only to be told they do not employ foreigners. My question is do legal PRP holders have any rights in the employment sector. Was it legal for them to discriminate based on nationality?
    Thank you.

  10. Hi there, I am a PRP holder and went for a job interview recently and afterward they told me they do not employ foreign nationals. Is it legal to discriminate on based on nationality even though I hold a valid PRP. Do I have any rights or recourse against this prospective employer?

    Thanks.

  11. Good afternoon Charlene, provided the position is not identified as an employment equity position, then discrimination based on nationality is illegal. As far as recourse is concerned, it would be best to consult with a labour law specialist to discuss your options.

  12. Hello,
    My father is an Italian Citizen with permanent residency in SA as all his children are SA citizens and live here. He is in Cyprus and has worked there for nearly 5 years and not returned to SA but now needs to come back as his contract is up and he will be retiring. We did not know about the 3 year period. What would happen now?

  13. Hi Giovanna,

    Was he working for a South African company abroad? We would suggest a status check as the first point of departure.

  14. I’m holder of PRP since end of 2014 and now want to apply PRP for my minor son (16) and spouse. They all in the country for more than 10years. Using the form BI-947 I’m totally confused. Is my son the principal applicant and does he need to undergo an interview like I did 2years ago?

  15. Hello Charlene. PRP holders are very similar to South African citizens with the only exception being that they cannot vote. In terms of employment, PRP holders therefore have the same rights as South African citizens.

  16. Hello, please I applied for PRP last year January 2015 and is june 2016 , still not out.
    I have been checking my status at Vfs.
    Please do you think I should call Vfs office or should I still wait.
    Please assist me.

  17. Hi Onyx. PR applications can take 18 months to process from the date of submission. I would recommend that you determine a date in which you are no longer prepared to wait, withdraw your application and instruct us to proceed with a new application for you. Our turnaround times are far below the standard industry times. Please visit http://www.savisas.com/permanent-residence-south-africa/ and submit an enquiry when you are ready to proceed with a new application.

  18. Hi, I hold a gereral work permit for 5 years and get PR last year.I resign from my company last month,decide back to home country for a 2 to 3 years, is that might be problem when I back South Africa ?

  19. Dear Yangdou. It should not be a problem. Please keep in mind that if you have not been in South Africa for three years or longer, then it can be decided to retire your PR.

  20. Hi Claire, I am in a similar situation to Yangdou (June 26), as I am on contract in UK. Is it correct that if I return for a holiday within the 3 year period, then the 3 year clock starts again? I may be away for at least another 2 years. Regards.

  21. Hi Brett

    Thank you for contacting us. If you return to South Africa within the 3 years, the clock will be reset.

    Kindest Regards,
    SAVisas.com

  22. Hey how are u sir/madam I am prp holder and id holder I am out of south africa for 02/08/2015 because of my father is diabetes and dialysis patient.i want ask two questions first is it good cause in law that look after my father second did my prp is still valid.please reply me shall be glad

  23. Hey.hope u fine.i am prp and id holder.i am absent from south Africa for 02-08-2015.the reason is my father is a patient of diabetes and chronic kidney failure. I want to know two questions. First I am busy with my dad is that good cause in law.second is my prp and id is valid. Please need your help.thanx .regard’s Atif rahi.

  24. Hi Atif.

    It would be unlikely that your permanent residence status is no longer valid, as you have been outside the country for less than three years.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  25. But I am outside the country for 11 months and twenty days so how my prp is not valid explain it plz

  26. But I am outside the country for 11 months and twenty days so how my prp is not valid explain it plz

  27. Hi Atif

    Your permanent residence permit should still be valid and you should still be able to enter the country.

    Regards,

  28. Please i applay prp nowh 17month and 8days i want to knw how long to process i am in south africa please ) thanks

  29. Hey Rehmatullah

    Unfortunately, the process can take up to 2 years. You can follow up with your application with the Department of Home Affairs.

    Kind regards,
    SAVisas Team

  30. Hi Talent

    The main advantage of gaining permanent residency in South Africa is that you have an indefinite status in the country. You are legally allowed to work in any industry and it gives you the ability to run a business.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  31. The Act does, however, make provision for an application to be made by a PRP holder in terms of which he or she seeks to extend the aforementioned period. This application must be made prior to the expiration of the three year period and the applicant is required to show good cause as to why the period should be extended. Exceptions to the rule that one will forfeit his or her PRP if absent from South Africa for more than 3 years are made where:

    The PRP holder was residing abroad in the service of the State;
    The PRP holder was residing abroad whilst a representative/employee of a person or association of persons resident or established in South Africa;
    The PRP holder was residing abroad while in the service of an international organization of which the State is a member;
    or

    In the case of the spouse or dependent child of the abovementioned persons, where the spouse or dependent child was residing with such person; and
    In the case of the spouse or dependent child of a South African citizen, where the spouse or dependent child was residing with such citizen.
    The periods envisioned in the above exceptions will not be taken into account when computing the three year period. Notwithstanding the aforegoing, if you are a PRP holder who intends to be out of South Africa for an extended period plz explain it plz in a easiest way shall be glad

  32. Hello, I am a PRP holder and has been out of SA for almost 4 years !
    Now I would like to retun to the south Africa

    Do I need to apply for a visitor visa or I can enter based on my PRP and decision of immration officer? ( my home country passport is in the visa required countries)

    I do not want to risk and fly without proper documents

    Best Regards

  33. Hi Ali

    Thank you for contacting us. In theory your PRP is meant to expire if you have been outside the country for more than three years. However, this process is not automated by the DHA and so it is not a given that your PRP has expired, we recommend that we submit a once off status determination application to determine if you still have permanent residence status in South Africa. For further information please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za and a consultant will get back to you.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  34. Hi. I am married to a PR holder for more than 7 years. Last year (January 2015) my son and i applied for our PRs. I was the main applicant and my son’s documents were below mine. As of June 2016 my son’s PR was approved and mine is still pending. Is there a possibility that my application has been misplaced or i still need to wait for the required 24 months before doing anything, and what action is possible.

    Thank you.

  35. Hi Patience

    Thank you for contacting us and sorry to hear about your situation. Please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za outlining your situation and include your contact details and a consultant will get in touch.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  36. Hi, I just want to find out if one can apply for a PRP just before the expiry to a general work permit of 5 years

  37. Hi Prosper

    Thank you for contacting us. A PRP can take 8 – 18 months to process. We advise you to not overstay when your general work permit expires. Please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za with this overview of your situation and your contact details and a consultant will get back to you with a solution to your situation.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  38. Hi. I have married with SA citizen and i have passed 5 years married time and i also applied at vfs global office for my PR now how long do I have to wait to get my PRP

  39. Hi Asif

    Thank you for contacting us. The processing time for PRP is 8-18 months.

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  40. Hi,
    im applying for prp, my appointmnt is sheduled. Got a paper of an interview, BI-947 FORM 18.Have to go for it before submission of application or afterwrds
    and where can i go for an interview and whts the procedure.
    Thnx

  41. Hi Precious

    Thank you for contacting us. We assume the interview will need to take place at the Department of Home Affairs. The form should have clear instructions about the process you need to follow. Please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za with an overview of your situation and your contact details and a consultant will be in touch to give you further assistance.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  42. Hi – I would like to withdraw my PR application and do it through you as you indicate that your turnaround times are faster. How do I go about doing this. Please advise.

    ps; it was lodged through VFS

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