There is of course a process for application, and several requirements to fulfil before you can consider moving for permanent residency in South Africa.
South Africa is more than happy to welcome immigrants who are in a position to meaningfully contribute to the socio-economic development of South Africa.
You must of course obtain a temporary residency through your initial application, and through this, you can apply for permanent residency.
As part of not just your permanent residency application, but your business visa application in general, the DTI must approve and endorse you and your business on the grounds of a positive alignment with the South African government’s economic development priorities.
The DTI need to ensure that you are firstly eligible, for either a business visa or permanent residency, and then review your application alongside the Department of Home Affairs, taking time to make a decision on your application.
As a part of the application process, the DTI might very well inquire as to the legitimacy of your business, and ask to visit the site address you’ve put down in your application. This is a standard procedure
They simply want to see the business premises, meet with key on-site personnel, and ensure that everything described in the application matches the real-life situation.
There is no time-line as to when the Permanent Residency can be applied for but it’s important that the business is up and running and that the money is still invested in the business.
It is vital to adhere to all the requirements of a permanent residency application and provide accurate and complete information during the application process. Any misrepresentations or discrepancies could very well result in delays or the complete rejection of your permanent residency application.
- Gather Relevant Documents: make sure to collect all the required documents you will need, including your valid business visa, investment documentation, financial records, police clearance certificates, and medical certificate.
- Submission: you can submit your application for permanent residency at the nearest visa facilitation centre. It is strongly advised to check the VFS website to ensure you have the correct documents and that there are no new requirements you must fulfil.
- Wait for Processing: The processing time for permanent residency applications can vary, and it may take several months. Be patient and follow up with the immigration office if necessary.
- Approval and Issuance: If your application is approved, you will receive a permanent residency permit. This permit will allow you to reside, work, and study in South Africa indefinitely.
You must fulfil certain criteria and provide a certain set of documents before being able to apply for permanent residency in South Africa. Applicants are also advised to renew their temporary resident visa whilst awaiting the outcome of a permanent residence permit.
There are standard deeds and requirements such as biometrics, etc., but there are also specific requirements for a permanent residency application, and are as follows:
- A Continuous Business Visa: you must currently be in possession of a valid business visa
- Proof of Business Operations: you will of course need to demonstrate that your business in South Africa is actively operational and actively contributing to the South African economy.
- Job Creation: your business should have created suitable employment opportunities for South African citizens or permanent residents.
- Police Clearance: you must once again provide police clearance reaffirming your good stature from your country of residence and any other country where you have resided for more than one year during the past 5 years.
- Medical Certificate: you must provide a medical certificate confirming that you pass a health examination.
If you have any questions, it is best to consult either with a qualified and registered immigration lawyer or with the South African Department of Home Affairs.
Documentation and Information Required for Permanent Residency
As a business visa holder, there is a large sum of documentation required for your PR application, all of which must either be in English using black ink or translated into English alongside a certificate by a sworn translator.
The documents marked with an asterisk* are only if applicable to your situation.
- Personal Information and Identification
- Valid passport
- Birth certificate
- *Marriage certificate/divorce or separation documents
- Police clearance certificates from the countries in which you’ve lived
- Photographs and biometrics meeting specific requirements
- Medical examination results for all applicants
- Proof of Residency and Stay
- Current and previous visa details
- Entry and exit stamps in your passport
- Rental agreements or property ownership documents
- Relevant utility bills or other documents proving your address history.
- Employment and Education
- CV or resume
- Family and Dependents
- Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and identity documents for all dependents mentioned in the application.Proof of relationship and dependency
- Proof of parental responsibilities or adoption papers or written consent in the form of an affidavit
- Business and Investment
- Financial Information including bank statements showing sufficient funds, tax returns and proof of tax compliance, and proof of financial stability and ability to support you, your business, and your dependents.
- Business registration documents and business plans
- Proof of investment and business activities
- Duly completed signed and dated application forms, specifically DHA-947 (to be completed in BLACK ink only)
- Payment of application fee
- A certificate from a registered South African Chartered Accountant
- A letter of recommendation from the DTI
- Proof of registration with the following:
- The South African Revenue Services
- The Unemployment Insurance Fund
- The Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases
- The Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), where legally required
- A waiver where required
A permanent residence application can and will be a lengthy and meticulous process, To increase your chances of a successful application, and ensure some peace of mind for you, your dependents, and your business in general, there are some things you can keep in mind throughout the process.
First and foremost, make sure you fully understand the requirements of your applications. Familiarise yourself with the category you’re applying for, whether it be a business or dependency application, and ensure that not only do you meet the necessary qualifications but have all the necessary documentation as well.
If you do find yourself stressed and confused, seek professional assistance. Hire a reputable visa/permit consultant to guide you through the process. They can make sure that your application is complete with up-to-date accurate information that meets all the necessary criteria.
And finally, be patient. The application process can take anywhere up to 8 months, perhaps even longer, based on various criteria that fluctuate throughout the year.
Conclusion and Future Prospects as a Permanent Resident
Please be reminded that once you have Permanent Residency, you still need to keep the ZAR 5 million invested in your business for at least 5 years.
You need to send proof thereof to the Department of Home Affairs.
Written by Simon Carletti, PR and Creative Supervisor