Permanent Residence

Applications for permanent residency in South Africa are considered in terms of Section 26 (Direct Residency Permits) and Section 27 (Residency on other grounds) of the Immigration Act, as amended, read with enabling legislation.


A foreign national who complies with one of the categories mentioned hereinbelow may qualify for permanent residence in the direct residence category:

  • The applicant has been a holder of a work permit for a period of five years and is in possession of a permanent contract of employment.
  • The applicant has been the spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident for a period of five years (such permit may lapse if any time within two years of having obtained permanent residence the spousal relationship no longer exists).
  • The applicant is the child of a South African citizen or South African permanent resident.


The Director-General may, subject to any prescribed requirements, issue a permanent residence permit to a foreigner of good and sound character who:

  • Has received an offer for permanent employment and the application falls within the specific professional category or within the specific occupational class.
  • Has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director-General that he or she possesses. extraordinary skills or qualifications, and to those members of such foreigner’s immediate family determined by the Director-General under the circumstances or as may be prescribed.
  • Intends to establish or has established a business in the Republic and has invested the prescribed financial contribution.
  • Is a refugee and holds formal recognition of refugee status for more than five years.
  • Intends to retire in South Africa and has the right to a pension or retirement annuity which pays out a prescribed minimum payment for the rest of his or her life.
  • Has a prescribed minimum net worth and has paid a prescribed amount over to the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Is a relative of a South African citizen or South African permanent resident within the first step of kinship.

As the practice specialises in South African Immigration Law we can assists with providing counsel on all categories of permits and with the preparation and lodgement of applications at either the Applicants relevant South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad, or locally within the Republic – the jurisdiction is dependent on certain circumstances.