How to migrate to South Africa

To migrate to South Africa, you can find a job in South Africa, or you can also study in South Africa. If you have a relative in South Africa, they can also help you.

Most immigrant visas require the applicant to be sponsored by a South African citizen, a South African permanent resident, or a South African employer.

Migrate to South Africa? People who want to move to South Africa and live there must first get permanent residence. The Immigrants Selection Board is a separate statutory body that decides on all applications for permanent residence based on their quality.

All websites linked in this article are in English. Use Google Translate or any other translation app if you need to.

Migrate to South Africa

To migrate to South Africa, you need to get a South African visa. There is a visa process for people who want to stay in South Africa for more than three months (90 days).

South Africa gives out different types of visas based on why you want to visit. But if you want to stay in the country for a long time, you need to apply for a long-term visa.

You can move to South Africa for more than three months in one of these ways:

  • For work;
  • For study;
  • Get together with your family.
  • In order to retire.

South Africa temporary residence visas

A temporary visa lets people from other countries come to South Africa for certain reasons, like to work, study, do business, or get medical care. These visas are usually good for one to five years, but they can be renewed in some cases.

With a temporary residence visa, you can stay for three months to five years.

How to apply

If you want to apply, think about the visa fees and your bank account. Most of the time, you have to apply from your home country to change from a stay visa to a short residence visa. There are some exceptions for spouses and children of South African citizens or permanent residents.

Know the rules in South Africa, especially if you need to change your visa status. Depending on where you are leaving from, some visitors may need a document showing that they have been vaccinated against yellow fever because of the chance of getting the disease.

The requirements

  • A completed and signed application form.
  • A valid passport.
  • A recent passport photo meeting Home Affairs guidelines.
  • Yellow fever vaccine proof if required.
  • Police certificates from your previous 12+ months of residence.
  • Medical and radiology reports (not needed for pregnant women and kids under 12).
  • Civil status documents (e.g., marriage, divorce certificates, birth certificates, name change proof if applicable).

The duration of a Temporary residence visa varies by type:

  • Business Visa: 12 months to passport expiry.
  • Work Visa: Typically two years based on employment.
  • Study Visa: For the duration of the study course.
  • Retired Persons Visa: Up to 4 years.
  • Relative Visa: Usually 2-4 years.

South Africa permanent residence

How do I live in South Africa for a long time? You can stay in the country for a long time in two ways:

Permit to live there directly.

A temporary residence permit based on a work permit lets you live in South Africa for at least five years. After that, you can apply for a straight residence permit and get permanent status.

Permission to live in other places.

If you want to get legal residency in another way, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are a refugee in South Africa.
  • You have a retirement visa or a visa that lets you be financially independent.
  • Your skilled worker visa lets you come to the United States.
  • They want to hire you full-time in South Africa.
  • You want to start a business in South Africa or put money into one there.

South Africa Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is possible in South Africa. So, you can become a citizen of South Africa and also keep the citizenship of your home country. Still, you should first check to see if your home country lets people have more than one citizenship. If it doesn’t, you have to decide if you want to lose your current citizenship or your South African citizenship.

Also, South Africans who want to have dual citizenship must be at least 18 years old and apply to the Department of Home Affairs to keep their citizenship.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, InterNation

Photo by Ion Fet on Unsplash.


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