Who can apply for permanent residence in South Africa?
The South African Department of Home Affairs indicates that there are broadly two categories of applicants who are eligible for permanent residency in South Africa. These are as follows:
- Applications made on the basis of “Direct Residence“
- Applications based on “Other Grounds“
Within this category, the South Africa Immigration Act makes provision for three separate types of permanent residence application. Namely:
- Having consecutively resided in South Africa on a General Work, Quota, Or Exceptional Skills Visa for a period of 5 years or more ( does not apply to dependents, must have a permanent offer of employment)
- Having been the spouse or life partner of a South African citizen for five years or more
- If the applicant is the child or parent of a South African citizen (provided financial support can be proved)
To apply for permanent residence in South Africa on what is referred to as “Other Grounds”, you are required to meet one of the following criteria:
- Possess a critical skills visa and have 5 years’ worth relevant and provable work experience (applies to dependents of the visa holder as well – must have a permanent offer of employment)
- Be financially independent
- Qualify as a Refugee in terms of Section 27(c) of the Refugees Act
- Qualify as a retired person for the rest of your life
- Qualify for a business visa
For more information on the qualifying categories for permanent residence in South Africa, see our South African permits page, or click the button below for a free eligibility assessment.