Permanent Residence Permit


Once the temporary Business Visa has been granted, the PRP may be applied for to any VfS in South Africa based on the same terms and conditions as set out for the temporary visa.


A Permanent Residence Permit (“PRP”) 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, Corporate Worker Visa and Volunteer Visa are not counting towards those 5 years, but General Work Visa, Business Visa and Critical Skills Visa. The 5 years have to be consecutive and it can be any mixture of any of the above mentioned temporary work visa.

Family (Spouses & Life Partners)

A direct Permanent Residence Permit (“PRP”) 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 five 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 current Immigration Regulations still contradict the Immigration Act as amended in 2011 as far as the minimum period for co-habitation / marriage is concerned. While the Act requires five years, the Regulations still speak actually of only two years, but in practice, the five-year period applies.

Family (Kinship)

For the PRP based on status as a first or second degree relative according to bloodline, the same terms and conditions apply as for the Temporary Residence Visa. The applicant will not have to wait and may immediately apply to any VfS in South Africa.

Financially Independent

A Permanent Residence Permit (“PRP”) based on Financial Independence has become for many a valid option as it does not require to go through the ordeal of obtaining a temporary residence visa at the Embassy, Consulate or High Commission first. Financially independent applicants may directly apply for a PRP based on proven “Financial Independence” and against the undertaking to pay to the Department of Home Affairs an amount of ZAR 120 000 in the case of the application being successful.

“Financial Independence” is not closely defined in the Act or Regulations but as the practice has shown in the recent past, it translates to “being able to prove that one is not dependent on factors outside one’s own private monetary sphere by owning the property one lives in, having a car and money in the bank and is not employed anymore”. Based on various notices and comments, the worldwide asset value supporting this assumption should exceed the amount of ZAR 12 million, independent from any individual living circumstances.

Contrary to the general rule, this type of PRP can be applied for in South Africa at any VfS and having any valid visa, even a visitor’s visa, at the time of submission is sufficient.

And contrary to the general rules, spouses, life partners and children may apply together with the applicant and do not have to await its outcome anymore before applying for their own PRP based on Kinship.

Retired Person

A Permanent Residence Permit (“PRP”) based on retirement follows the same terms and conditions as the respective Temporary Residence Visa. The applicant needs to prove a minimum fixed retirement income, pension or irrevocable, regular income from a public source, pension fund or annuity of not less than ZAR 37 000 per month. Income from investments such as property, shares or debentures does not qualify anymore.

The applicant does not have to wait 5 years after the Temporary Residence Visa is granted, but may apply immediately at any VfS in South Africa.


The indulgence that any student, who studies at any of the institutions accredited in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1997 or the Further Education and Training Colleges Act of 2006 as amended, and where the subject of the studies falls under the Shortage Occupation List as published by the Minister every five years, may apply in the final year for PRP does not apply anymore and has been withdrawn in line with a recently more restrictive immigration policy.

The applicant does not have to wait 5 years after the Study Visa is granted, but can apply to any VfS in South Africa once in the final year of studies.

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