Buying property in South Africa? Relocating? Want to know about your VISA options?
South Africa has 13 different temporary permit classes:
For a foreign client wishing to purchase property in South Africa in general only the following 3 VISA options are available.
A retired or financially independent person may apply for temporary residence in this category, provided they comply with the requirements set out below which are coupled to a lifelong right to a pension or an irrevocable retirement annuity or prescribed minimum income off investment or if the applicant has the prescribed financial resources to qualify in the financial net worth category. The monetary requirements are as follows: Retired persons: a pension with a minimum value of R37 000 (Thirty Seven Thousand Rand) per month per person or an irrevocable retirement annuity delivering this amount or a combination of assets delivering this amount monthly. Financial net worth: a prescribed minimum net worth consisting of an amount of R12, 5 million (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand Rand) coupled to a payment to the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs in the amount of R125 000 (One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Rand). Please note that this kind of visa does not allow an applicant to be able to conduct work.
Business Visa in the Temporary Residence Category. An applicant who wishes to apply for a business visa to establish a business in South Africa or a business that the applicant wishes to invest in, must show a prescribed financial contribution of at least R5 million from abroad into the business in South Africa in order to be able to qualify in this category. Additional requirements for the business visa process would include the drawing up of a business plan in respect of the proposed business and also, most importantly, the employment of South African citizens. The business visa applicant would need to ensure that within 12 months of issuance of the visa at least 60% of the total staff complement employed are South African citizens or South African permanent residents. Furthermore, a recommendation needs to be obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry in respect of the feasibility of the business and the contribution of the business to the national interest of the Republic. There are a number of business sectors that have been deemed to be in the national interest by the Department of Home Affairs in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry and these business sectors may qualify for a reduction or waiver of the capital investment requirement:
This type of permit is governed by Section 11 of the Immigration Act read with Regulation 19 of the Act which regulates the technicalities in this category. Section 11 provides that a visitor’s visa may be issued to a foreign national in respect of visits to South Africa for a maximum period of 3 months. This visa can be extended for a further three month period but no further extensions thereafter are allowed.
A new body has been formed to regulate applications. You no longer go through the Department of Home Affairs but through the Visa Facilitation Service.
The Director General of Home Affairs, announced in June 2014 that all the regional offices of the Department of Home Affairs are now closed to the public in respect of temporary and permanent residence permits and applicants in person will have to present themselves to the offices of the Visa Facilitation Service in their area for biometric/fingerprinting in order to initiate applications after an electronic submission has been made and payment of the visa facilitation’s fee of R1350 per applicant has also been made to VFS.