With the South Africa’s GDP running at nearly 4% yearly and the addition of great weather and wonderful landscape, South Africa has a lot of pull factors for both the short term or on a more permanent basis.
A trip to South Africa, whether permanent or just for a short visit requires a visa of one sort of another. The right visa is determined by the particular sort of visit you’re on.
Essentially, visas are split into visitor’s visas and immigration visas, with the latter split into a number of different types of immigration visas. The specific immigration visa you get will be decided by the Department of Home Affairs depending on your background and other information given.
South Africa Visitors Visa
South African Visitor’s visas allow people to come to South Africa for periods no longer than three months. These visas are issued to those who wish to come to the country as:
- Visiting Family or Friends
- Short Term Business Requirements
- Spouse or children joining a studying or working spouse or parents in South Africa on a work or study permit
- Fiancée/Fiancé joining partner – must marry within 90 days
- Charity/ Volunteers
- Attending Conferences
- Working in the Entertainment industry
- Medical Reasons
- Sports Events
There are a number of countries that don’t require a visitor’s visa if the person wishes to stay for 90 days or less. There are also other nationalities exempt from the requirement of a visitor’s visa for up to 30 days.
South Africa Immigration Visa
Those looking to stay in or move to South Africa on a more permanent basis will need an immigration visa. As mentioned previously, these visas are applied for under the wider remit of an immigration visas. However, the Department of Home Affairs then looks at your background before issuing you with the immigration visa they feel most apt. There are numerous kinds of immigration visa, all of which are provided for different reasons.
These visas are offered to those with offers of full employment in South Africa and are commensurate with qualifications. It also requires your employer to inform necessary authorities why a permanent resident cannot fill the position. This must be backed up with proof of advertisement for the position and show that now suitable South African person applied. If you are a professional you may have to register with the body representing your industry in South Africa.
Family Reunion Scheme
It is possible to get an immigration visa or permanent residence if you are unable to provide details of full employment, but have family members who are South African citizens. These citizens must assist you financially until you become economically active.
Spouses and Children
You are not automatically entitled to citizenship if married to a South African citizen. You have to firstly be considered as an immigrant as an individual, particularly in a professional area. You must then submit proof of marriage and that you can financially support yourself before being able to settle in South Africa permanently with your spouse.
Elderly or infirm migrants can be sponsored by a blood relative if they wish to move to South Africa, once the relative is a permanent lawful resident of South Africa. In this case you must be considered a dependent and be unable to support yourself.
Retired people who are financially self-supporting may apply for immigration to South Africa in their own right. This does require you to submit proof of financial assets as part of the application process and these will be considered.
If you wish to apply for immigration to South Africa and are financially independent and have over R1.5m and are willing to invest R700,000 for a period of three years or more in the South African economy in either a financial centre or immoveable property you may receive an immigration visa. This will have to be proven after three years and you will not be allowed to engage in employment in this time.
Those looking to start up business in South Africa have to show they have sufficient funds to support themselves and family. You will also be required to transfer a minimum amount of money, which will be determined by the Immigrations Selection Board to set up a business.
In the case of partnerships or limited companies you will have to submit evidence that your company has made a substantial contribution to the South African economy or full time employment in the country of two South African citizens who are not family members.
If you would like to move to South Africa, but want to find out whether you are eligible or what options are open to you, simply take our free visa assessment. One of Global Visas’ expert advisers will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your options and begin the process of moving to South Africa.