How do I obtain a permanent residence permit?

Permanent residence permits are issued by the Department of Home Affairs. Information on how to apply for a permanent residence permit is available from the department.

Direct residence permits are issued to:

  • foreigners who have been residing in South Africa on the basis of their work permits for a minimum period of five years
  • their spouses
  • dependants of South African citizens or permanent residence permit holders.

You can also apply for permanent residency if you:

  • 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 a refugee in terms of Section 27(c) of the Refugees Act
  • qualify as a retired person
  • are financially independent
  • are relatives (biologically or judicially adopted) of a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder.


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