Visitor´s Visa

A visitor’s visa for South Africa is issued to any foreign person whose intention it is to visit South Africa for up to 90 days for any purpose other than those accommodated by visas for work, business, study, retirement etc.

Citizens of specific countries are considered visa exempt and are not required to apply for a visa prior to departure for South Africa. A person from a visa exempt country will be issued a visa (for either 30 days or 90 days depending on their nationality) upon arrival as long as they can provide, upon request, specific financial and other guarantees e.g. sufficient funds and a return flight ticket.
Citizens of specific countries that are non – exempt must apply for and receive a visitor’s visa for South Africa from a South African Consulate, Embassy or High Commission in their country of residence prior to travelling to South Africa.

A visitor’s visa for South Africa may be extended only once and for no longer than a further 90 days.
A person who is to enter South Africa to engage in an Academic Sabbatical or for voluntary, charitable, research activities etc. can, upon application, be issued with a visitor’s visa for up to 36 months provided that applicant has sufficient funds and has met the other requirements as required by the Department of Home Affairs. This must be applied for at a South African Consulate, Embassy or High Commission in the person’s country of residence.

Citizens from visa exempt countries are required to apply for the necessary permission prior to departing for South Africa to be issued the authorised visitor’s visa upon arriving in South Africa.
Citizens from countries that are non-exempt will need to apply for and receive their visitor’s visa from a South African Consulate, Embassy or High Commission in their country of residence.

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Relative´s Visa

A temporary residence Relatives visa can be applied for by a family member of a South African citizen or permanent resident if they fall within the 1st or 2nd line of kinship. This includes spouses, life partners, parents, children and siblings.
Life partners (heterosexual or homosexual) of a South African citizen or permanent resident will need to provide comprehensive and satisfactory evidence that their relationship exists to apply for the Relatives Visa.

A spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident is required to confirm that they are formally married – legally, traditionally, customary union or other.
A prescribed financial assurance will be required in order for parents, children and siblings of a South African citizen or permanent to apply for a Relatives Permit.
Holders of a Relatives Permit may not work, study or conduct a business.
Spouses and life partners of a South African citizen or permanent resident may apply for an authorisation to work, study or conduct a business while residing in South Africa.

Permanent Residence:
A relative of a South African citizen or permanent resident who falls under the 1st line of kinship (parents and children) may apply for permanent residence through the Relatives category.
Spouses of South African citizens or permanent residents may, upon being married for 5 years, apply for permanent residence.
Life Partners (heterosexual or homosexual) of South African citizens or permanent residents who are in long term or permanent relationship can apply for permanent residence upon providing comprehensive evidence showing that the relationship has existed for a minimum of 2 years.
Both life partners and spouses of South African citizens or permanent residents who have received permanent residence will need to confirm that their relationship or marriage exists within 2 years of receiving permanent residence in order to maintain their status as a permanent resident.

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Business Visa

The South African Business Visa allows a person to establish or invest in a business in South Africa in which they may be employed.

Immediate family members can be accommodated for the duration of the South African business permit.
In order to qualify for the Business Visa the following are some of the requirements that have to be met:
a) a minimum investment of 5 million, originating from abroad, is required to be invested into the book value of the business, financial or capital, and must be certified by a chartered accountant or professional accountant registered with the South African Institute of Professional Accountants.
b) the applicant has undertaken to –
i. comply with any relevant registration requirement set out in any law administered by the South African Revenue Service; and
ii. employ 60% of the total staff of South African citizens or permanent residents within a period of 12 months from the date of issue of the visa.

A person residing in South Africa on a South African Business Permit cannot conduct work other than the work that is related to the business for which the Business Permit was issued.
If a person cannot meet the required R 5 Million investment and intends to invest a lesser amount into the book value of the business, a recommendation from the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is required in order to have the investment amount waivered by the South African Department of Home Affairs.
The Department of Trade and Industry have listed specific sectors of industry which are deemed to be of national importance. The recommendation for a waiver is generally only issued by the Department of Trade and Industry if the business falls under one of the sectors.
The person holding a South African business permit is required to submit evidence to the Department of Home Affairs after 24 months showing that all the requirements have been met.

Permanent residence:
Permanent residence can be applied for directly upon the applicant showing that they have the necessary R 5 Million to be invested into the book value of their intended business.
Any person submitting less than the prescribed R 5 million will need to first receive a successful outcome of the waiver application after receiving a recommendation from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Once permanent residence has been issued the holder is required, within 2 years of being issued permanent residence and 3 years thereafter, to submit confirmation that the investment, staff and other requirements have been maintained. The right to permanent residence shall lapse upon failure to confirm these requirements.

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Spousal Visa

A spousal visa, as it is commonly referred to, is accommodated under the Relatives Visa category of the South African Immigration Act.

A person can apply for a temporary residence as Spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident upon confirming that they are married – legally, traditionally or through customary union.

A spouse being accommodated under the Relatives Permit category, which prohibits a person from working, studying or conducting a business, is not allowed to work, study or conduct a business unless a specific authorisation or endorsement is applied for to allow the spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident to either work for a specific employer, study or conduct a business.

As a spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident the normal stringent requirements of a work visa or a business via are waived when applying for the work or business authorisation/ endorsement.

Permanent Residence:
A spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident can apply for permanent residence once married for 5 years.

A spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident who has received permanent residence will need to confirm that their marriage exists within 2 years of receiving permanent residence in order to maintain their status as a permanent resident.

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Retirement Visa For South Africa - How To Qualify

The Retired Person’s visa is a temporary residence visa that can be issued to any person regardless of age who intends to retire in South Africa may it be on a continuous or seasonal basis.

In order to retire in South Africa a person must first qualify to apply for a Retired Person’s Visa. The applicant will need to show that they have the sufficient financial means to support themselves while residing in South Africa.

To meet the necessary financial requirements the applicant will need to show that they receive a monthly income of at least R 37, 000 per month through the following two ways.
The R 37, 000 must be shown through a pension, irrevocable annuity or a retirement account; or
The 37, 000 can also be shown through a combination of assets.

The Retired Person’s Visa can be only applied a period longer than 3 months and up to a 4 years. The financial requirements are required to be met for the whole period (up to 4 years) that the applicant intends to retire in South Africa for.

The Retired Person’s visa can be extended beyond the 4 year period, as long the requirements are maintained, to allow a person to retire in South Africa for a longer period.
The spouse/life partner and children of the foreign applicant can be accommodated on this visa as accompanying family members.

Permanent Residence:
Permanent residence through the Retired Person’s category can be applied for if the financial requirement of R 37, 000 per month can be met through showing that applicant receives a lifelong pension, retirement account or irrevocable annuity.

The 37,000 Rand can also be shown through a combination of assets.
When applying for permanent residence, Spouses and children can be included as part of the primary applicant’s application and do not have to individually meet the requirements.

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Study Visa

Due to South Africa’s prominence in Africa and due to having many highly acclaimed Universities and Colleges, many people apply every year to study in South Africa. In order to be able to study in South Africa they will need to apply for and receive a study visa for South Africa.

The Study visa for South Africa is a temporary residence visa that can be applied for by any foreign applicant who has been accepted as a full time student at any recognised University, college or school in South Africa to allow the person to study in South Africa.
The primary requirement to be able to qualify to apply for a study permit to allow a person to study in

South Africa is to be formally accepted into a full time course at a recognised education institution in South Africa.

Please note that correspondence and distance learning courses does not qualify for a study visa for South Africa.

A person holding a study visa is permitted to undertake part –time work during the validity of the visa as long as the person is studying at a recognised higher education institution.
The holder of a study visa is also permitted to undertake full time work during their vacation periods during the validity of the study permit.
A person cannot qualify for permanent residence through the study permit category.

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