Advertisements Applying For a Temporary or Permanent Residence Visa : Law Society of South Africa Applying For a Temporary or Permanent Residence Visa : Law Society of South Africa

Organisation : Law Society of South Africa


Name of Facility: Applying For A Temporary Or Permanent Residence Visa

Location : Pretoria


ISSA Applying For A Temporary Or Permanent Residence Visa

** All visa applications whether of a temporary or permanent residence nature fall under the ambit of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 (as amended).

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** In addition policy decisions of the Department of Home Affairs as embodied in Departmental Directive are what make the Act work.

** Immigration law can be a minefield of obstacles and pitfalls.

** It is in the interests of foreign nationals applying for visas of any description to consult an attorney who is a specialist in this area of expertise in order to try and minimise the effects of the pitfalls and obstacles.

Permanent residence visas

** Permanent residence visas are for indefinite periods.

** Persons with the following visas can apply for permanent residence:

** Direct residence, which requires a work visa holder to have been in South Africa on a work visa for a continuous period of 5 years.

** Critical skills work visa holders on the basis of their critical skills visa as soon as they have obtained their temporary residence visa in this category.

** Business category permanent residence visas can be applied for by an investor or entrepreneur who has qualified in terms of the investment and employment criteria in South Africa, can show sustainability and viability of an existing or intended business, and undertakes to employ 60% South African citizens or permanent residents in the business.

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** Foreign nationals married to South African citizens for a period of 5 years may apply in the ‘spousal’ category.

** This includes persons who are in recognised customary unions, traditional unions or civil unions for the qualifying period.

** Retirees who provide proof of the qualifying income in this category.

** Financially independent persons’ who can provide proof of available qualifying funds and are prepared to pay an amount determined from time to time by the Minister of ome Affairs, as a non-refundable once-off payment to the Director General of Home Affairs.

Main criteria for qualifying visas :

** One of the backbone requirements is that an applicant for any kind of visa must be a person of good character and accordingly police clearance certificates are required from any country in which the applicant has been resident for a period of longer than 12 months in the prior decade.

** It is also important that the applicant be healthy and in a good physical state. A medical and radiological report is required.

** At all relevant times employing South Africans and creating jobs for South Africans remains one of the main principles in oureconomy.

** Accordingly it is required – except in the critical skills visa category – that prospective employers must demonstrate the efforts made to secure the services of a South African citizen or permanent resident before they make any job offer to a foreign national.

Important innovations

** With the advent of the Immigration Amendment Act 13 of 2011 and new Regulations published on 26 May 2014, it became necessary for applicants for all types of visas to present themselves in person for the actual lodgement of the applications in order that biometric identification can be done.

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** Your attorneys may accompany you through this process and then bring the applications to finality.

** The Department of Home Affairs has granted a tender to Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) in all the main centres in South Africato act as receiving and despatching agents for lodgement and

** endorsement of visas when granted.

** The Department of Labour must, in terms of the new Regulations, perform the function of certifying, in respect of work permits, that no South African citizens or permanent residents ere available for the position prior to a work permit being finalised for a foreign national.

** In terms of business visas, the term ‘national interest’ has become one of the backbone criteria for the Department of Trade and Industry certifications.


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