Visa Categories for South Africa
Below is a brief overview of the visa categories available to persons wishing to relocate to South Africa. Please click on the respective category for details. For further information and a detailed quote simply contact us or receive a free assessment of your immigration prospects.
A foreigner wishing to stay in South Africa for a period of up to 3 months as a visitor/tourist.
Persons wishing to take up employment in South Africa. There are various categories of work visa depending on your circumstances.
this can be issued to foreigners who wish to establish a new business in South Africa or invest in an existing business.
Can be issued to foreigners (of all ages) who are able to submit proof of sufficient financial means available to them for their retirement in South Africa.
Persons wishing to attend school, university or other institutions of learning in South Africa.
Relative & Partner Visa
Family relation (spouse, life partner or other) to South African citizen or permanent resident.
Permanent Residence Permit
This permit allows for maximum flexibility with regards to movement in and out of South Africa and your activities (e.g. work, study) in South Africa.
The 3 main grounds for South African citizenship are birth, descent and naturalisation.
Categories of Work Visa in South Africa
General Work Visa
Relatives and Partners Visa
South African business visas are issued to persons who wish to establish a new business in the country, or to invest in an existing business. The main requirements are the following:
- Minimum investment of R 5 million into the business in cash or capital. Certain industries have been declared to be in the South African national interest, and investors into these can apply for the investment amount to be reduced or waivered. These businesses include: agro-processing; BPO and IT enabled services; capital / transport equipment, metals and electrical machinery and apparatus; electro technical; textile, clothing and leather; consumer goods; boat building; pulp, paper and furniture; automotives and components; green economy industries; advanced manufacturing; tourism infrastructure; chemicals, plastic fabrication and pharmaceuticals; creative and design industry; oil and gas; mineral beneficiation; infrastructure development; and ICT. (Contact us if your investment amount is lower than R 5 million; we will assess your chances of obtaining permission to apply).
- Recommendation by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) attesting to the feasibility of the business and its contribution to the national interest of South Africa.
- At least 60% of the permanent staff of the business shall be South African citizens or permanent residents within 12 months.
- Registration with the relevant statutorial and professional bodies (i.e. revenue Service, Unemployment Insurance Fund).
- A comprehensive business plan showing the short and long-term viability of the business.
Two years after being granted a business visa, the holder is to submit to the Department proof that the investment has been met, and every 2 years thereafter proof that all of the requirements are still being met.
Permanent Residence Visa – Own Business
A retirement visa can be issued to foreigners of all ages who can prove that they have sufficient financial means available to them for their retirement in South Africa. The holders of this visa may reside in South Africa on a temporary or continuous basis.
The main requirements are the following:
- A monthly income from abroad of at least R 37,000 from a pension, an irrevocable annuity or retirement account; or
- "Combined assets" (no minimum value) realising a monthly income of R 37,000.
Spouses, life partners (of at least 2 years), and minor dependent children can receive visas to accompany the holder of a retirement visa without having to provide further proof of funds or income. The holder of a retirement visa may be permitted to work under certain conditions.
Extended visitor’s visas (which can be issued for up to three years) can be issued for in the following categories:
- accompanying a family member who holds a long-term visa,
- voluntary or charitable activities,
- research or academic sabbatical,
- teaching at international schools,
- work in the film industry,
- seconded journalists,
- visiting professors or lecturers,
- tour leaders.