Understanding Permanent Residence in South Africa: Requirements and Benefits
To get Permanent Residence (PR) in South Africa (View Program), an applicant needs to submit a formal application to the Department of Home Affairs or the relevant consulate abroad. Once granted, the permanent residence entitles you to live and work in the country. There are no limits on where or how you live or work, other than the normal laws of the country. You will also have the right to engage in business, to purchase property or other goods, to study and basically do everything a citizen can do except vote in elections.
Once granted, how long does Permanent Residency last?
The Permanent Residency permit does not expire and remains valid indefinitely, with the sole provision that you must enter the country at least once every three years. You can live in South Africa or visit regularly.
Can I include my family, and can they study in South Africa?
Your family members can also apply with you for PR – that includes a spouse, and children under 21 years of age, who are full-time students and who are financially dependent on the main applicant Medically dependent children of any age can also apply.
Unlike a South African study visa, which only allows full time courses, with PR you can do part time or short-term courses.
Among the listed benefits, many applicants find the possibility of obtaining Portuguese citizenship the most important factor, as you will effectively become a citizen of the EU. Another large and popular advantage is that Portugal also allows for dual citizenship.
What is the Financially Independent Visa (FIV) for Permanent Residency in South Africa?
There are several possibilities for gaining PR in South Africa (View Program). Perhaps the most popular it the Financially Independent Visa (FIV) which grants applicants thereof PR directly, so allowing successful applicants to live, work, retire and study in South Africa, including managing their own business. The visa is open to all nationalities and there is no age stipulation, however, it does require a minimum net worth of ZAR 12,000,000 (USD 820,000).
What happens after I apply?
Once the supporting documents have been submitted to the DHA or the relevant consulate abroad, the processing time will typically take 8 months.
The approved applicant must also pay a fee of ZAR 120,000 (USD7,000). Once the permit is issued, they can apply for a Non-Citizen Identity Booklet.
Does South Africa offer citizenship by investment?
This program entitles you to apply for South African citizenship after 5 years. South Africa does not offer citizenship by investment programs as some other countries do. The Financial Independence Visa for Permanent Residency is therefore likely to be the best option for most people.
Can I submit my Financial Independence Visa application from overseas?
Where can I get advice?
“It can be quite complex, and you obviously want to get it right,” continues Mr. Trelcat. “We do recommend you seek professional guidance.”
If you would like to discuss your plans with the legal staff of HLG you can make an appointment by emailing us at [email protected].