The Complete Guide to the Financially independent Visa
What is Permanent Residence?
Permanent residence is the first step to becoming a citizen of the country. It offers many benefits and opportunities. The most important one being that you are able to live in South Africa indefinitely, without any conditions attached.
Permanent residence status is available for people who have made an investment in South Africa or for those who have had a temporary residence permit for more than 5 years like being on a work permit for example and other certain circumstance like how to get permanent residence in South Africa.
The South African immigration act states that there are various ways to qualify for a PR.
These are the different visa you can apply, the Department of Home Affairs has these different South Africa visa types.
Can you buy permanent residency in South Africa?
Technically you can buy permanent residency in South Africa, however this is not seen as an investment.
South Africa does not have an investment option for South African permanent residency, but there is an alternative option that high-networth individuals can apply for that would lead to permanent residency.
The option that is available to high-net worth individuals is the financially dependent visa which they can apply for.
The difference between the financially independent visa and the investor permit is the following:
- An Investor permit requires applicants to invest a large sum of funds from abroad into the destination country in which you are applying for.
- An investor permit requires you to invest funds for a period of time like five years for example.
- The financially dependent visa requires no investment to be made and the requirements are much more straight forward.
What is Independent financial permit in South Africa?
The financially dependent visa is type of visa which is aimed at high-networth individuals who able to support themselves financially in South Africa.
But what does it mean to be financially independent?
According to wikipedia this is the definition:
“Financial independence is the status of having enough income or wealth sufficient to pay one’s living expenses for the rest of one’s life without having to be employed or dependent on others.”
There are many benfits with this visa when obtaining permanent residency such as:
- Allowing you to work in the country.
- Start your own business.
- Further your studies in South Africa.
- Add a dependents such as a spouse or kids.
- There are no age restrictions.
The processing times for a financially independent visa is quite a lengthy process which can take about 6-8 months and due to COVID-19 the Department of Home Affairs is currently experiencing a backlog of visas which they are currently trying to clear.
Therefore it can take longer than 8 months to process, so keep this in mind. South African immigration is quite complex and its best making use of an immigration consultant.
Our immigration services in South Africa offers a free assessment to see if you qualify.
How much do I need to invest in South Africa to get permanent residence?
The financial independent visa requires no investment, however you need to qualify for the following criteria:
- Prove that you have a networth of R12 million or more.
- Upon approval pay the Director General of Home Affairs R 120, 000.00
- Provide the required documents to apply for the visa.
Wht are examples of assets that could be counted as net-worth assets?
- Bank and brokerage accounts
- Retirement funds
- Real estate
- Personal property
Can I add my family to the visa?
Yes you can add your spouse and kids as dependents to the visa.
What do I need to add them to the visa?
- Show proof of relationship such mariage certificate or proof that you are a parent to your kids.
- A valid passport
- Medical and X-ray form
- Clear criminal records by submitting a police clearance ceritificate
- Completed application form and government processing fees
What are the government fees for the visa?
The fee or fees information are as follow:
- VFS fee per applicant: R 1550.00
- Department of Home Affairs processing fees: R 1520.00
- Payment upon apporval of visa: R 120,000.00 to the Department of Home Affairs.
Please note applications may vary if you are applying abroad at a South African embassy or consulate.
What happens if I dont qualify for the visa?
You can then alternatively apply for the following visas:
To qualify for a business visa you must invest R 5 million within the new business or an existing business, employ South African citizens or permanent residence and to qualify for a retirement visa you need to receive a irrevocable annuity income or from assets which accounts to about a minimum of R 37,000.00 or more a month.
South Africa immigration options are available too if you are not interested in applying for either visas.
The only drawback with the retirement visa is that you are not allowed to work or run a business in South Africa.
Contact Migrate With Q for a full visa assessment which is free and we’ll tell you if you qualify or not. Our immigration services for South Africa offers a host of visa services which we could assist you with. We offer a boutique style service which is tailored to each client.
Charl Vollmer has 8 years of experience helping people immigrate to South Africa. I am passionate about helping people and making their dreams a reality. Charl constantly stays up to date with South African Immigration rules and regulations. To contact Charl, visit our contact page.