Immigration South Africa

By: CapeTownProperty | Posted: 19th April 2010

Moving to a foreign country to establish a business, to work, or to retire can be a daunting experience.

Whilst you are in the process of uprooting your life and moving to South Africa, the last thing you want to face is a complex web of immigration rules and procedures. Some people opt to handle the application on their own because they are in no hurry and are confident that they will be accepted. They believe they know which is the best visa to apply for given their particular circumstances.

However, the law is changing quite frequently and the barriers to entry are becoming more strict. Using the services of a highly qualified specialist means that you will receive advice on the best route to take to ensure your application is successful. Our immigration associates have an incredible track record of success to date and will give you peace of mind that your application is in the best possible hands for approval.

Which Visa?

There are three types of permits:

* Visitors permit for up to thirty six months
* Temporary Residents Permit for up to three years (4 years for retired persons)
* Permanent Residents Permit

Visitors permit:

* Passport holders from the following countries will be awarded a three month visitor visa on arrival: UK, Ireland, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
* Visitors planning to stay long-term can apply for a three-year version of this visa if they are undertaking one of the following: an academic sabbatical, voluntary or charity work, internship, training or research.

Temporary Residents Permit

Valid for up to four years. To apply successfully the applicant must fall into one of the following categories:

* Student/Intern (Interns get Visitors Permit)
* Business Person (Self-employed) and Investors. Requirements are:
o Business investment of 2.5 million Rand into the book value of the business within the first 2 years of the running concern*
o A business plan and a business track record to prove entrepreneurial skill
o Employment of 5 South Africans or holders of Permanent Residency Permits
o Registration with the SA tax office
* The capital investment may be reduced or waived if the business falls into one of any of the specified categories. The specified categories are IT (information technology), clothing and textiles, chemicals and biotechnology or agro-processing, tourism, crafts or the automotive and transport industry. Employees:
o A general work permit is granted based on a conditional job offer (if other requirements are met.)
o A quota work permit is also granted to people with specific skills which are needed in South Africa.
o Exceptional Skills work permit
o International Transfer - work permit
* Pensioners and Senior Citizens
o Four years is granted for people able to prove income of R20,000 per month per person
* Spouses or Life Partners of SA citizens or holders or Permanent Residency Permits.
* Corperate Permit - issued to those wanting to employ a number of foreigners
* Other - there are some additional temporary permits issued on grounds such as asylum seekers or permits for seasonal work.

Permanent Residents

To qualify, the foreigner must comply with one of the following:

* Self-Employed/Investor
* Employees (those who have already worked for five plus years in SA; those who have received a permanent job offer; those with extraordinary skills.)
* Pensioners and Senior Citizens (Criteria as above - Temporary Residents - the only difference is that the R20,000 is just for the main applicant not per person)
* Spouses or Life Partners can apply after five years relationship.
* Family Members - those of 1st step of kinship.
* Financially Independent Applicants (funds in excess of R7.5 million)
* Applicants with asylum status (after five years of having the asylum seekers permit).
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Tags: barriers to entry, hurry, business person, best route, peace of mind, charity work, interns, permanent residents, immigration rules