Permanent Residence Permit

Permanent Residence


A South African Permanent Residence Permit may be granted to any applicant, who has been a holder of any single or consecutive Work Visa for a period of at least 5 years and has been offered permanent employment. Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa are not counting towards those 5 years, while the Holders of Critical Skills Work Visa, Business Visa or Retired Person Visa do not have to wait those 5 years and may apply for a Permanent Residence Permit anytime after they have been issued with their temporary residence visa.

Direct Permanent Residence

A direct permanent residence permit will equally be granted to the spouses or life partners of South African citizens or holders of permanent residence permits, if and when their relationship (spouse or life partner) has existed for a minimum of two years. While a spousal relationship is deemed to have existed uninterrupted from the date of the marriage, proof of a life partnership will have to be provided by means of:

  1. A notarial agreement of life partnership;
  2. An affidavit and proof of cohabitation; and
  3. Proof of having shared financial responsibilities.

PLEASE NOTE that the new Immigration Regulations 2014 are currently contradicting the Immigration Act as amended in 2011 as far as the minimum period for co-habitation / marriage are concerned. While the Act requires five years, the Regulations speak now of two. Therefore – and legally – the five year period still applies!

Life Partners

A life partnership is only recognised by law, if it is a relationship between a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder and a foreigner or – under the new Regulations – between two foreigners. A life partnership is recognised for both, homosexual as well as heterosexual couples.


Children of South African citizens and of permanent residence permit holders qualify for a permanent residence permit directly as long as they are still under 21 years old. In case that children are above the age of 21, they may also qualify under Section 26(d).