According to the current Immigration Act, there are many ways to obtain permanent residency in South Africa. Such residency is divided into two categories i.e. “Direct or Indirect Residence”

Under these “definitions”, one can obtain residence in the following categories:
“Direct Residence”:
• Work
• Relatives
“Indirect Residence” or “Other Grounds”:
• Work
• Skills
• Business
• Refugee
• Retirement
• * Financial Independent
• Relative
* Financial Independent : Residency in this category can be obtained by virtue of proving a net worth of ZAR 7.5 million and then “donating” ZAR 75 000.00 to the South African government. Please note that such residence will prevent you from being actively involved in working or any business activity. Approval or exemption from this can be obtained in writing.

New Legislation : As of 1 July 2005, the Act stipulates that a person(s) either married or in a life partnership, must be together for a period of 5 years before an application for residence can be made. This step was taken in accordance with world trends and to eradicate the so-called “easy to obtain” residence status.

Applications in this category take approximately 12 to 18 months to finalize. This delay is purely due to the tremendous backlog within the Department, as well as the new legislation that determines that applications can only be finalized in Pretoria.