As consular information is subject to change, this site is likely to be updated on a regular basis.

In order for one to immigrate and live in South Africa, a person must obtain permanent residence. All applications for permanent residence are considered on merit by an autonomous statutory body, the Immigrants Selection Board.

Applications for permanent residence must be lodged from current country of residence or the closest South African mission. Applications cannot be lodged in South Africa, nor can an applicant await the outcome of their application within South Africa.

As policy is subject to change we strongly suggest that all prospective applicants contact this office with regard to applications.

General Immigration

Because of the considerable need for the creation of job opportunities for South African workers, as well as for their training and development, it will be understood and appreciated that the RSA cannot afford to grant permits for permanent residence to persons who are not seriously committed to immigrating to the country and to investing their assets, skills, knowledge and experience for the benefit of themselves and the people of South Africa.

Once a permit for permanent residence has been granted, permanent residence must be taken up within six months and if any extension of this period is applied for, due cognisance will be taken of the reasons for such request and of any assets already transferred to and productively invested in South Africa.

Basic principles and policies on immigration

The present immigration policy places emphasis on the broadening of the economic base of South Africa by concentrating especially on the obtaining of those immigrants who are in a position to render a meaningful contribution in this regard.

The South African immigration policy is embodied in the Immigration Act (No 13 of 2002) which prescribes certain requirements which are to be met by an applicant who wishes to immigrate permanently to South Africa.

The requirements are:

  • The applicant must be of good character
  • He / she must be a desirable inhabitant
  • He / she must not be likely to be harmful to the welfare of the Republic of South Africa
  • Most importantly - he / she must not follow an occupation in which there is already a sufficient number of persons available to meet the requirements of the country

These requirements are aimed at individual selection and all applications for permanent residence are considered on merit by an autonomous statutory body, the Immigrants Selection Board.

In particular cognisance should be taken of the legal provision which places an obligation on the Board to ensure that only those applications are approved where the applicants will follow occupations for which a proven demand exists in the RSA.

This provision brings about that a policy of individual selection is being applied. The overriding consideration should always be the protection of the inherent rights of South African citizens or permanent residents to employment opportunities which may exist in the country.

Categories of Immigration / Immigration procedure by category

Those eligible to apply for permanent residence must fall into one of the categories listed in the Immigration Act. The South African lmmigration Act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002) makes provision for various categories of Permanent Residence. The various categories are as follows:

  1. A person who has been the holder of a Work Permit for 5 years;
  2. The Spouse of a South Africa Citizen or Permanent Holder;
  3. The Child under the age of 21 years of a South African citizen or Permanent Residence holder;
  4. A peson who received an offer of Employment;
  5. Where a person has extraordinary skills;
  6. Opening a Business;
  7. A refugee;
  8. A retired person;
  9. A relative of a South African citizen or permanent resident holder (restricted to mother, father or brothers and sisters)
  10. .

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