Most people are unaware of the fact that a South African permanent residence permit (“PRP”) may be withdrawn by the Department of Home Affairs.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;
- 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.
Speak to a professional
Contact Le Roux Attorneys, South African Visa specialists about your visa application. Start by selecting one of the enquiry options below