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Permanent Residence

Permanent residence are only issued upon application and can either be obtained through direct residence or through residence on other grounds. Applications may be submitted in South Africa or abroad at any South African foreign represen

Direct residence

May be issued to a foreigner who

  • is child of a South African citizen

  • is a child under the age of 18 years of a South African or permanent resident

  • has been (and still is) the spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident for five (5) years

  • has been the holder of a work visa for five (5) years



Residence on other grounds

May be issued to a foreigner who

  • established a business or intends to establish a business in South Africa

  • intends to retire in South Africa

  • is financially independent – must proof that he/she has the prescribed net worth

  • is the relative of a South African citizen or permanent resident in the first step of kinship (parents, children and spouses)

  • has received an offer of permanent employment

  • has extraordinary skills or qualifications

  • is a refugee in terms of section 27(c) of the Refugee Act, 1998


The holder of a business visa may obtain permanent residence. A permanent residence visa holder based on business is required to maintain his/her business and investment for at least 5 years after having obtained permanent residence.

Proof / Confirmation of Permanent Residence

If you were a previous permanent residence holder and intend to return to South Africa permanently, we will gladly assist you to apply for proof or confirmation of permanent residence.

A permanent resident holder is entitled to a South African Identity book (endorsed as non-citizen). A permanent resident holder will not be able to vote in a election or apply for a South African passport.

Permanent residence endorsement in passport

'Permanent residence status' is no longer endorsed / stamped into a foreigner’s passport by the Department of Home Affairs – permanent residents must therefore carry / present their original permanent residence permits to the immigration officer at the port of entry each time they enter or depart from the Republic of South Africa. Please also note that in terms of section 28(c) of the Immigration Act, as amended, a permanent residence permit may be withdrawn, if the holder has been absent from the Republic of South Africa for a period exceeding three (3) years.