South Africa has a mixed economy and has seen an onward economic growth since 2004; both employment and capital formation increased. South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and a substantial amount of revenue comes from tourism.
Applications for permanent residency in South Africa are considered in terms of Section 26 (Direct Residency Permits) and Section 27 (Residency-on-Other-Grounds Permits) of the Immigration Act 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002), and read with Regulation 33 of the Immigration Regulations. In terms of granting Permanent Residency Permits, emphasis is placed on immigrants who are in a position to make a meaningful contribution to broadening the economic base of South Africa.
In order to make an application for a permanent residency permit, applicants must first submit representation to the Minister of Home Affairs motivating why he or she should be declared not to be a prohibited person or an undesirable person.
You may be considered a prohibited person if:
You may be deemed to be rehabilitated if:
You may be deemed to be an undesirable person if
It is only after the Minister of Home Affairs has declared a prospective immigrant not to be a prohibited/undesirable person, that an application for permanent residency status can be submitted.
Once you have received a positive response from the Minister of Home Affairs, you may submit an application for either a Direct Residency Permit or a Residency-on-Other-Grounds Permit.
This category of permit is applicable to foreigners who have been residing in South Africa on the basis of their work permits for a minimum period of five years, their spouses and also to dependents of South African citizens/permanent residence permit holders.
To apply for a direct residency permit you need to complete Form BI-947.
This category of permits applies to foreigners who:
You can apply for all Permanent Residency Permits at the Department of Home Affairs, at the nearest office in the South African province in which you intend to live and work. Alternatively, if you are based overseas, you can apply at your nearest South African embassy, mission or cunsulate in the country in which you live.
An attorney, advocate or immigration practitioner can make the application on your behalf (note that the immigration practitioner must be registered with the Association of Immigration Practitioners of South Africa (AIPSA).
Where applicable, a non-refundable fee is payable on submission of your application (spouses as per Section 26(b), dependent as per sections 26(c) and refugees as per Section 27(d) are excluded).
In addition to completing and submitting Form BI-947, you must also provide the following documentation:
Additional documents are applicable to the different immigration categories and these are listed in the permanent residence application Form BI-947.