Permanent Residency (PR) is the status most foreigners who decided to stay in South Africa aim for. It does not only offer security for future planning but also a certain level of flexibility at a later stage. The current legislation allows for foreigners to apply for permanent residence on the following grounds:
1. Own Business: If an investor has invested more than R2.5 million into the book value of the business and has employed as least 5 locals, he/she will qualify for permanent residence based on own business.
2. Five years work permit: If the foreigner has worked for more than 5 years in South Africa and was in possession of work permits for these 5 years, she/he may apply for direct residence. In addition he or she must be in possession of an offer of permanent employment at the moment of application for the direct residence.
3. Exceptional skills: Applicants with exeptional skills may apply for permanent residence based on their sets of skills. The qualitity of the skiss must be proven comprehensively and among other thing, a local authority, university or professional body must confirm that the skills are indeed execptional.
4. Spouse or life partner: Life partners or spouses of South African citizens or permanent residence holders may apply for permanent residence. However, they have to prove that they have been married for more than 5 years or they are life partners and have been living together for more than 5 years.
5. Retirement: Foreigners and their families who intend to retire in the Republic may apply provided that the main applicant has the right to a pension, has an irrevocable annuity of, or assets realising more than R 20,000 per month.
6. Financial independence: An applicant who’s worldwide assets exceed R 7,5 million and who is willing to pay a R75,000 application fee to the Department of Home Affairs will also be able to obtain permanent residence status.
The processing times of the Department of Home Affairs for any application for permanent residence is currently between 18 and 24 month.