How to apply for a permanent residence permit in South Africa in 2024

How to apply for a permanent residence permit in South Africa in 2024

South Africa is a beautiful country with many lively cultures, an affordable cost of living, and many opportunities to harness. So, if you are considering settling in South Africa for the long term in 2024, understanding the process of securing a permanent residence permit is crucial.

permanent residence permit
Department of Labour's logo and South Africa's flag. Photo: @sanewsgovza on Facebook and @harrson on (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The permanent residence process might be rigorous and tedious, but getting that permit as a foreigner comes with many attractive benefits. Whether you want to invest in the country, work, study, or marry, this permit makes it easy.

What is permanent residence?

It is the legal right given to a foreigner in another country to live and work permanently. A permanent residence permit in South Africa allows an eligible non-citizen to live permanently without renewing their visa whenever it expires. It is different from having a citizenship status.

What are the benefits of a permanent residency permit in South Africa?

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People with a permanent residence permit enjoy rights and privileges like the country's citizens. But they cannot own a passport or vote in an election. Below are some of the benefits of these permanent resident permits in SA:

  • Work, invest, and own a business without limitation;
  • There is no need to renew expired work documents or temporary visas;
  • Access to an RSA ID number;
  • Own a property like a citizen;
  • Study in the country without limitation;
  • Similar protections to citizens;
  • Freedom to travel in and out of South Africa freely;
  • Those outside South Africa can visit the country at least once every three years;
  • Within 12 months of obtaining a permit, the person can switch their foreign driver's license for a South African driver's license;
  • One's spouse, partner, or immediate family members can join and apply for the permit;
  • No need to spend on a visa application.

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New permanent residence rules in South Africa

Permits in South Africa can be applied for and given in two categories. These are direct permanent residence permits and residency on other grounds. Here are the rules guiding them.

Direct permanent residence permit

You and your spouse can get this document if you or one of you have been residing and working in South Africa with a work permit for at least five years. Besides, it is given to dependents or children under 21 years who are South African citizens or permanent residence permit holders.

Residency on other grounds permit

Those with exceptional skills and qualifications crucial to a work visa get it. Those who can also be considered are these:

permanent residence permit in south africa
Passport with multiple stamps. Photo:, @globalresidenceindex
Source: UGC
  • Those with intention of investing or starting a business in the country;
  • Those with a permanent work offer in the country;
  • Financially independent people;
  • Recognised retired persons over 55 years with stable income and proof of pensions or irrevocable annuities;
  • Family members and those adopted by South African citizens or permanent permit holders.

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Other rules guiding the permanent residence permit are:

  • Good and sound character;
  • Your document will be withdrawn if convicted of serious criminal offences;
  • Your document will be withdrawn if you do not visit the country for three years after obtaining the permit;
  • You must stay in the country for the first year you were issued the document;
  • Short-term and long-term visitor visa holders cannot apply for permanent residence;
  • People declared undesirable, prohibited, and rehabilitated (those having infectious sickness, bankruptcy, racial discrimination, etc) are not eligible for the document.

How to get a permanent residence permit in South Africa

You can get the permit by applying at the DHA (Department of Home Affairs) office in South Africa. If you are abroad, you can apply at the South African embassy or consulate. The first thing to do is to verify and prove your eligibility to the Minister of Home Affairs to receive the document by submitting a representation.

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If you are confirmed, the next is to book an appointment with them and prepare and submit your documents. Below are some documents and requirements needed to obtain a residency in other grounds permit and a few for a direct permit.

  • You need to fill out and submit a BI-947 form
  • Passport
  • A valid visa
  • Provide a complete set of fingerprints
  • A marriage certificate or proof of spousal relationship, if applicable
  • A divorce decree or evidence of legal separation, if applicable
  • A death certificate for a late spouse, if applicable
  • Evidence of custody of a minor, if applicable
  • Proof of judicial adoption of a minor, if applicable
  • Proof of investment in South Africa.
  • Proof of financial source
permanent residence permit in south africa
Residence permit application process. Photo: AmnajKhetsamtip
Source: Getty Images

How long is permanent residence valid in South Africa?

A permanent residence permit is valid indefinitely, while a temporary document is valid for five years and is renewable. A person with a permanent permit can apply to become a citizen of South Africa if they have painted their permanent residence permit status between five and ten years.

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A permanent residence permit in South Africa is the best option for foreigners. Its advantages far outweigh the complexities of the application procedure. Consider pursuing this opportunity in 2024 to relish South Africa's diverse landscape and favourable quality of life.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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PayShap is cost-effective for real-time transactions and is part of the country's vision towards a cashless digital economy. Check the article for more on how the service works.

Source: Briefly News

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