Temporary Residence Permit South Africa 2022
What Is a Temporary Resident Permit?
You might be interested in moving to South Africa and wondering “What is a temporary resident status”?
A temporary residence visa allows a foreign national to legally stay in South Africa for longer than 90 days and a maximum of up to five years.
Many people choose to emigrate to our beautiful country and make this their new home because we have the perfect climate plus many more things to excite you.
The most important thing to consider when emigrating is applying for a temporary visa to settle here.
People emigrate here for different reasons for example studying, working, joining their loved ones, retiring here or perhaps starting a business.
To increase your chances of receiving the desired permit or visa you must prove to officials the basis on which you are making a claim in the form of a visa application and show that you can financially support yourself.
Making such a big move requires you to be prepared and make sure that you have all the information you need to be well informed about all the logistics.
The Department of Home Affairs 2014 tightened the regulations and thus leaving you no room for error or else your application might be denied.
Changes to certain work visas were made in 2020 and thus making it even more difficult to apply for a work visa.
What Permits Are Available In South Africa?
There are various visas available to foreign nationals which they can apply for.
You need to apply for the right visa and you can easily find out which visa you qualify for by completing our free assessment forms.
Below are the different types of visas available:
The relatives visa allows you to join family members in South Africa for up to two years.
You need to show evidence of either first-kin or second-kin levels.
In layman’s terms, this means father, mother, brother or sister and the advantage is that you can apply for permanent residency on basis of first level kin-ship.
Your sponsor needs to prove that they can financially support you as you are not allowed to whilst in the Republic.
Life Partner Visa:
This option allows you to join your boyfriend or girlfriend in SA for a period of up to two years and you have the choice of a work endorsement on a life partner permit if you have a job offer at the time of applying.
You do have the choice to add either work, study or start your own business.
You need to have been cohabiting for two years at the time of submission and you need to provide substantial evidence of this.
The spousal visa allows the foreign spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident to stay in the country legally.
The visa is valid for 2 years and you have the option of adding working rights, study rights or business rights to the visa.
Section 11(6) of the immigration act enables you to add these endorsements to your visa.
You would need to have a valid marriage certificate to apply for this visa.
You can renew the visa and if you need to see the documents you can our blog post “Temporary Spouse Visa South Africa Requirements” to give you all the information you need.
Corporate Workers Visas:
The corporate workers’ visa allows corporate companies that require a large number of foreign workers to apply for these visas.
The company first needs to apply for a corporate visa and once approved then only may they start recruiting foreign nationals.
Mining, farmers and construction companies are just a few examples of who can apply for this visa.
The corporate visa is valid for 3 years.
Critical Skills Visa:
The critical skills visa for South Africa allows foreign nationals whose occupation is in high demand to apply for this visa if they have a job offer.
To qualify for the visa, you need the following before applying:
- A job offer.
- South African Qualifications Assessment (SAQA – Assess your foreign qualifications).
- Confirmation and Membership letter from a professional body, board or council.
- Required qualifications as per the critical skills list in South Africa for your occupation.
The visa is valid for 5 years and can be renewed.
A foreign national can apply for permanent residency if they can show proof of 5 years of work experience or 5 continuous years of being on the CSV.
Your occupation must be listed on the critical skills occupation list for 2022.
The critical skills work visa is the best option where work permits are concerned.
General Work Visa:
A general work visa is an option for foreign applicants who specializes in their field of work and can prove to the Department of Home Affairs that a prospective employer could not find a candidate who possesses the skills and experience needed for the position.
There is much red tape to get through with this visa and the Department of Labour needs to give you the recommendation to go ahead and apply.
The visa is valid for 5 years and can be extended.
Once you’ve completed 5 years on the visa you can then apply for permanent residence in South Africa.
Intra-Company Transfer Visa:
The intra-company transfer visa allows foreign nationals who work for multi-national companies, subsidiaries or affiliates to transfer from a branch abroad to South Africa.
Applicants must have been working for the company for 6 months or longer and must prove that the two companies are connected.
The visa is valid for 3-4 years and cannot be extended or applied for a change of status in South Africa.
Applicants using these options will not qualify for permanent residency.
A prospective employer must have a skills transfer plan in place to show the Department of Home Affairs that the foreign nationals’ skills will be transferred to a South African citizen or permanent resident.
All Foreign Qualifications Must Be Assessed By South African Qualifications Authority
All applicants applying for a work visa must have their qualifications assessed by SAQA, to find out if their qualifications are on par with South African standards.
If your transcripts and qualifications are not written in English you’ll then need to have them translated by a sworn translator into English.
Retiring in South Africa As A Foreigner
The retirement visa allows foreign nationals who receive a pension or a retirement annuity in the amount of R 37, 000.00 rands per month per couple to retire in SA.
There is no age restriction and if you can show that you are receiving a permanent retirement annuity then you can apply for permanent residence.
You are not allowed to work whilst on this visa.
You are allowed to extend the visa and the visa is valid for up to 4 years depending on your financial sources or pension etc.
Starting Your Own Business In South Africa
Foreigners who would like to start a business in South Africa must apply for a business visa.
You need to invest R 5 million within the business and employ at least 60% of South African or permanent residents within the business.
The visa is valid for 2 years and can be extended.
You can apply for permanent residency if you can prove all the qualifying criteria have been met.
Your business must not fall within the prohibited business’ who are not allowed to apply for the visa.
Studying in South Africa
Children or adults who would like to further their studies in South Africa must apply for a student visa.
You must have an acceptance letter and the institution must be recognized by the Department of Education.
The visa is valid for the duration of the course and can be renewed.
You can not qualify for permanent residency.
How To Get A Temporary Residence Permit In South Africa
You are not allowed to apply for temporary residence permits in South Africa if you are on a visit visa.
You are only allowed to apply for a change of status if you are:
- Spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident.
- A child of a South African citizen or permanent resident.
- You require medical treatment urgently.
The only time you can apply in South Africa is if you are currently on a temporary residence visa for South Africa.
This is known as a change of status which means you can change from one TRP visa to another.
All applications are submitted through VFS which will send your visa application to the Department of Home Affairs.
This means that if you are applying for a temporary residence permit for the first time, you need to submit it abroad.
You must apply in the country of residence or if you hold a temporary residence permit for another country then you can apply there too.
Temporary residence permits must be submitted at your nearest South African embassy or consulate.
It takes about thirty to ninety days to process your visa abroad, then you can enter SA with the visa.
What Is The Cost Of A Temporary Residence Permit?
These are the standard costs for VFS in South Africa for all visas:
- R 1,550.00
- Relatives visa (Minor Child) – No fees
- Relatives visa (Major Child) – R 425.00
- Relatives visa (Brother/Sister) – R 425.00
- Life Partner visa – No Fees
- Spousal visa – No Fees
- Critical Skills Permit – R 1520.00
- General Work Permit – R 1520.00
- Intra-Company Permit – R 1520.00
- Corporate Permit – R 1520.00
- Retirement Permit – R 425.00
- Business Permit – R 1520.00
- Study permit – R 425.00
How Long Is A Temporary Resident Visa in SA?
Most work visas are issued between three to five years.
Relatives visas are issued for up to two years.
Retirement visas are issued between one to four years.
A business visa is issued for up to two years
A study visa is issued between one to four years.
The amount of years awarded is at the discretion of the Department of Home Affairs.
When Do I Qualify For Permanent Residency?
These are the permanent residence qualifying criteria:
- Relatives visa – 1st level kinship (Can apply immediately).
- Life Partner Visa – Being with your partner for five years or more.
- Spousal Visa – After five years of marriage.
- Critical Skills Visa – five years of work experience or five continuous years on the visa.
- General Work Permit – Five continuous years of being on the visa.
- Retirement permit – Permanent retirement annuity that amounts to R 37, 000.00 or more.
- Business permit – You can apply once you have satisfied all the requirements.
Temporary Residence Permit Extension South Africa
You need to renew your visa 60 days before the permit expires.
This is done through VFS and you’ll need to schedule an appointment with them and submit it on the given date.
The extension process requires you to gather all the documents which you initially did the first time around.
Due to COVID-19 the processing time has been largely affected and could take up to five to seven months before receiving an outcome.
You have the choice to make use of immigration services and Migrate With Q will offer you a free assessment to see which you qualify for.
Let us assist you in applying for a temporary residence permit as we are always keeping our finger on the pulse where the immigration regulations are concerned.