Apply for permanent residency permit

South Africa prefers immigrants who are in a position to make a meaningful contribution to broadening the economic base of South Africa.

Before you can apply for a permanent residency permit, you must first motivate why you should be declared not to be a prohibited person or an undesirable person.

You and your spouse qualify for a direct permanent residence permit if you have lived in South Africa on the basis of your work permit for a minimum period of five years. Dependents of South African citizens or permanent residence permit holders can also apply.

Residency-on-other-grounds permits applies to foreigners who:

  • are in possession of a permanent work offer in South Africa
  • have exceptional skills and qualifications
  • intend to establish a business in South Africa
  • qualify as refugees in terms of Section 27(c) of the Refugees Act
  • qualify as retired persons
  • are financially independent or
  • are relatives (biologically or judicially adopted) of a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder.

Find out more about the process of applying for permanent residency, or contact the Department of Home Affairs.