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What are the Requirements to Obtain a South Africa Permanent Residence Visa?

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South Africa always looks for foreigners who can make a meaningful change in the country and help to broaden the economic base of South Africa. Therefore, the South African government is welcoming foreigners who can meet their requirements.

Applicants must consider checking their eligibility level before they start their application process. The South African government does not allow a foreigner who is declared a prohibited person or an undesirable person to obtain a permanent residency.

Who is Considered a Prohibited Person?

Foreigners must not submit an application for a permanent residency visa before making a representation to the South African Minister of Home Affairs. This representation helps them prove that they should be declared not to be a prohibited person. A foreign national can be declared prohibited if:

  • They have an infectious disease that spreads easily. These diseases include:
    • Cholera
    • Pestilence
    • Yellow fever
    • Other diseases specified by the Department of Health
  • They are fugitives and have a warrant of arrest against them. Criminals who are convicted for gruesome crimes are included as well.
    • Genocide
    • Torture
    • Drug trafficking
    • Money laundering
    • Kidnapping
    • Terrorism
    • Murder or assassination in South Africa or any country that has diplomatic relations with South Africa
  • They have a membership of racial hatred or social violence organizations or support them.
  • They have a membership of an organization that uses crime, terrorism, or brute force to reach their goals.
  • They have a record of the previous deportation and are not considered rehabilitated by the standards of the Department.

 

Who is Considered an Undesirable Person?

First, foreigners must make a representation to the Minister of Home Affairs to show that they should not be declared undesirable people. Then, they can apply for a South Africa permanent residence visa. A foreign national can be declared undesirable if:

  • It is possible They become a public charge.
  • The Minister finds them undesirable, or they fall under the judicially incompetent category.
  • They are considered as un-rehabilitated bankrupt.
  • They are fugitives from justice and under investigation.
  • They have been criminally convicted of a crime (with no option of a fine) for misconduct that is also a crime in South Africa.

 

Who is Considered a Rehabilitated Person?

Foreigners who are rehabilitated are absolved in the eyes of the Minister of Home Affairs. Foreigners are rehabilitated is:

  • They submit an oath or formal declaration that they will abide by the Act.
  • The Department has no solid reason to believe that they will violate the Act again.
  • They have not visited or traveled to South Africa for four years or more.
  • They may be absolved and considered to be rehabilitated by a fine between 2,000 Rand to 50,000 Rand (if foreigners pay the deportation cost in addition to the related expenses, they will be 2,000 Rand).

 

What are South Africa Permanent Residence Visa Types?

When the Minister of Home Affairs does not declare a foreigner or immigrant as a prohibited or undesirable person, the applicants for a permanent residency visa can start their visa process. There are two categories of permanent residency visas:

  • Direct Residency Permit
  • Residency-on-Other-Grounds Permit.

 

There are 11 different types of permanent visas that fall into the categories above. These permanent visa types are:

  • 26(A) Worker
  • 26(B) Spouse
  • 26 (C) Dependent (under 18)
  • 26(D) Dependent(above 21)
  • 27(A) Worker
  • 27(B) Extraordinary skills
  • 27(C) Business
  • 27(D) Refugee
  • 27(E) Retired
  • 27(F) Financially independent
  • 27(G) Relative

 

Direct residence permits

Applicants who have been living in South Africa for a minimum of five years based on their work permits may be qualified for a Direct residence permit. Their spouses can apply too. In addition, dependents of South African citizens or holders of permanent residence permits can also apply. Applicants of a direct residency must complete form BI-947.

 

Residency-on-other-grounds permits

This type of permanent residency permit is suitable for foreigners who:

  • have a permanent job or work offer in South Africa.
  • are skilled and have exceptional qualifications.
  • Are investors and plan to start a business in South Africa.
  • are refugees regarding Section 27(c) of the Refugees Act.
  • are retired.
  • are financially independent.
  • are relatives (blood-related or adopted) of a South African citizen or holders of permanent residence permits.

 

26(A) Worker

Applicants who have worked in South Africa for five years continuous years are qualified for permanent residency under 26(a) worker permit. In addition, applicants need to have a piece of evidence regarding their job contract.

 

26(B) Spouse

Applicants married to a citizen or permanent resident in South Africa for five years continuous years are qualified for permanent residency under 26(b) spouse permit. Applicants need some evidence, such as A declaration of support by the South African spouse and an identity document of the South African spouse. If the spouse has permanent residency, a copy of their permanent residence visa must be submitted.

 

26(C) Dependent (under 18)

Dependent applicants applying for a permanent residence permit are required to provide the following documents:

  • A Birth Certificate number
  • A letter of consent from both parents or legal guardians to pledge financial support to the applicant. This letter must contain some information about parents or guardians like:
    • A bank statement
    • Salary advice
    • Proof of residence
    • Identity documents

 

26(D) Dependent(above 21)

Dependent applicants applying for a permanent residence permit are required to provide a letter of consent from both parents or legal guardians to pledge financial support to the applicant. This letter must contain some information about parents or guardians like:

  • A bank statement
  • Salary advice
  • Proof of residence
  • Identity documents

 

27(A) Worker

Foreigner workers who are applying for a permanent residence permit need to have permanent job employment. The employer needs to present evidence that the position actually exists and the position and its job description were advertised. The employer also must prove that no qualified citizen or permanent resident was available for that job.

 

27(B) Extraordinary skills

Foreigners who claim they have extraordinary skills are required to provide;

  • Certificates and recommendation letters from previous employers
  • A comprehensive resume’.
  • A letter that confirms the applicant’s extraordinary skills or qualifications. This letter must be from:
    • A foreign or South African organ of the state.
    • A South African academic, cultural, or business body.
  • Other Evidence to prove their extraordinary skills. For example, they can provide publications and legal testimonials.
  • Documents that their extraordinary skills will increase the value of the South African environment.

 

27(C) Business

A foreigner who plans to start a business or invest in a business that is not established in the Republic needs to have a chartered accountant or a professional accountant issue a certificate for them. This accountant must be registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants or the South African Institute of Professional Accountants. After consultation with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Trade and Industry will determine the least amount of cash for investment in the Republic. They declare this amount each time by an announcement in the Gazette. Investors also need:

  • A business plan describing the short and long-term possibility of the business
  • A commitment that at least 60% of the total number of employees employed by the company will be citizens and permanent residents employed permanently.
  • A pledge to register with the South African Revenue Services. The business must have a registration document with any professional body, board, or council recognized by SAQA in section 13(2) (i) of the National Qualifications Framework Act.

 

A foreigner who plans to start a business or invest in a business that already exists in the Republic needs to have a chartered accountant or a professional accountant issue a certificate for them. This accountant must be registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants or the South African Institute of Professional Accountants. After consultation with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Trade and Industry will determine the least amount of cash that has been invested in the business. They declare this amount each time by an announcement in the Gazette. Investors also need:

  • A commitment that at least 60% of the total number of employees employed by the company will be citizens and permanent residents employed permanently.
  • Registration documents with the South African Revenue Services.
  • Unemployment Insurance Fund.
  • A Compensation Fund in case there are occupational injuries and diseases.
  • Financial statement about the prior financial year
  • If the investor has a partner, they need a partnership agreement.

 

In terms of Section 13(2)(i) of the National Qualifications Framework Act, SAQA recognizes professional bodies, boards, councils, and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

 

27(D) Refugee

Applicants for a permanent residence permit need to present the following:

  • Evidence that they were refugees for five continuous years in South Africa.
  • The Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs certifies that the applicant will remain a refugee indefinitely.
  • The oath concerning aliases used by the applicant or family members for refugee status applications.

 

27(E) Retired

Retirees applying for a permanent residence permit need to show that they have a pension or lasting annual retirement income or a net worth based on regulation 23(10).

 

27(F) Financially independent

Financially independent applicants must prove that:

  • They have the required minimum net worth based on regulation 23(11).
  • They paid the Director-General 120000 Rand.

 

27(G) Relative

An application for a relative permanent residence permit requires the African citizen or permanent residence holder to ensure the Director-General that they are able and willing to support and maintain the applicant. Parents of a minor dependent are not able to apply for a relative permanent permit because a minor dependent cannot handle financial, emotional, medical, and physical responsibility for a parent.

The relative permanent permit applicant must also have:

  • Evidence regarding family relations
  • A pledge showing the financial, medical, physical, emotional, and physical responsibility of the South African citizen or permanent resident concerning the applicant.

Note: If a dependent was born in South Africa and their parents have a Permanent Residence because they were Refugees, the dependent can apply for a visa, a Birth Certificate number, or a Passport Number.

 

What are South Africa Permanent Residence Visa requirements?

Permanent residence applicants must gather and submit the following documents to perpetuate their application process:

  • A completed and signed BI-947 form.
  • Fingerprints of all fingers
  • If an applicant is married, they need a marriage certificate.
  • If an applicant is divorced, they need a divorce decree.
  • If an applicant is a parent, they need evidence of custody of a minor.
  • If an applicant has lost their partner, they need a death certificate for their late spouse.
  • A consensual letter from parents in the case of having minors.
  • Legal evidence for a minor if the minor is adopted.
  • A legitimate police clearance certificate for all countries the applicant has stayed in. These certificates must be about countries that the applicant spent one year or more since they became18 years old.
  • If the applicant is already in South Africa, they need to present a valid temporary residency permit.

Note: For each type of South African permanent residence visas applicant might need to provide other documents.

 

What are the steps for a South Africa Permanent Visa?

Here is a list of steps for applying for a South African permanent visa:

  • Apply for a visa or permit online on the VFS website (this website works with the Department of Home Affairs of South Africa), fill out the online form, pay the required fees, and set an appointment at the embassy.
  • Visit the embassy. Applicants need to take their printed online application form, a valid passport, and other required documents with them. (At the end of the appointment, applicants will receive an acknowledgment receipt. This receipt must be kept safe)
  • Wait for the embassy to contact you.
  • Revisit the embassy to enroll your fingerprints and photograph at the embassy.
  • Give your receipt and collect your documents in person at the embassy. (applicants must have their original passport to collect the final verdict.)

 

Important note: Applicants cannot present additional documents when their application is submitted at the embassy.

 

How Much is the South Africa Permanent Residence Visa Fee?

Each permanent visa type has a particular visa fee. Here you can see a list of permanent visa fees:

  • 26(A) Worker: 127,00 US Dollars
  • 26(B) Spouse: 91,71 US Dollars
  • 26 (C) Dependent (under 18): 91,71 US Dollars
  • 26(D) Dependent(above 21): 127,00 US Dollars
  • 27(A) Worker: 127,00 US Dollars
  • 27(B) Extraordinary skills: 127,00 US Dollars
  • 27(C) Business: 127,00 US Dollars
  • 27(D) Refugee: 91,71
  • 27(E) Retired: 127,00 US Dollars
  • 27(F) Financially independent: 127,00 US Dollars
  • 27(G) Relative: 127,00 US Dollars

 

The Bottom Line …

Applicants for a South African permanent residence visa can fall into 11 categories and use the direct residence or on-other-grounds permits to obtain their permanent visas. This essay explained the different types of permanent visas, their required documents, and how to apply for them. If you have any experience obtaining a permanent visa, please share them with us in the comment section.

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