The Process of Obtaining Permanent residency in South Africa

Via Financial Independence Permit

An increasingly appealing program

South Africa’s Permanent Residency via Financial independence is a program that is becoming increasingly appealing as a destination amongst individuals with either a personal connection to South Africa, or as Entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses further afield. As the most industrialized, technologically advanced, and diversified economy in Africa, the program presents a fantastic opportunity for applicants.

The Process of Obtaining Permanent residency in South Africa Via Financial Independence Permit residency requirement South africa PR

Key points

  1. Documentation and Medical Tests: Applicants must compile necessary documentation and undergo medical tests as part of the application process.
  2. No Minimum Investment or Residency Requirement: No minimum investment or residency obligation; visiting South Africa once every three years is sufficient.
  3. Benefits of Permanent Residency: Grants unrestricted living, working, studying, and investing rights, akin to citizens, except voting.
  4. Pathway to Citizenship: Eligible for citizenship after 10 years, with certain conditions and motivations.

Process of Obtaining SA Permanent Residency

To obtain permanent residency in South Africa Via Financial Independence, an applicant needs to compile a variety of documentation and undergo medical tests to satisfy the conditions of the application. It is due to these complexities that we would recommend consulting first with an experienced immigration lawyer. 

The requirements for this immigration program are unique as the applicant simply needs to demonstrate ZAR 12 million (Approximately USD 632,400 at the time of writing) of net worth. This can be through a variety of different capacities such as by property, investment accounts, or a savings accounts supplemented by a letter from a chartered accountant confirming an applicant’s net worth. Although, there is no minimum investment or residency requirement, a payment in the amount of ZAR 120,000 (Approx. USD 6,250 at the time of writing) must be made to the Department of Home Affairs upon approval of the application. This means if the applicant wanted to primarily reside in the UK, for example, they would only need to take up residence in South Africa by visiting and as long as they visit South Africa once every 3 years, their permanent residence permit would remain active indefinitely with no requirement for renewal. 

Benefits of Acquiring South African permanent residency

The advantages of Permanent Residence in South Africa include the main applicant and their dependents obtaining the right to live and work in South Africa without any limitation. It allows the applicants to own property, study, invest and perform essentially all activities a citizen can, apart from voting. This permanent residence permit does remain valid indefinitely, and an applicant is able to maintain their PR status as long as they ensure they do not remain outside of South Africa for more than three years at a time. 

Many UK nationals have looked to move their businesses to South Africa as it has the most industrialized, technologically advanced, and diversified economy in Africa. Those who have spent their childhood in South Africa, possess an emotional connection with the country and its culture, and wish for their children to have a similar experience may also be motivated to pursue obtaining PR in South Africa.


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    Pathway to Citizenship

    Once Permanent residency has been obtained, the applicant and any dependents (Spouse for over 5 years, Children up to 21, and medically dependent dependents at any age who are confirmed by a physician) will have the freedom to live, work, study, retire and start a business in South Africa. There is also a pathway to citizenship after 10 years or sooner, subject to the specific circumstances of the applicant.  

    Moving forward

    if you are considering applying for a Permanent Residence Permit in South Africa via Financial Independence or have an interest in another program,
    please contact our UK office at either  +44 0203 405 5762 or email lo[email protected] for more information.

    With over 30 years of experience, Harvey Law Group is a leading international law firm specialised in Citizenship and Residency by Investment programs, operating in over 20 offices worldwide.