Moving to another country - especially one so far from family and friends - is a big decision and being prepared will help the process be much smoother and stress-free. Your biggest concern after you've made the decision to emigrate will be securing a South Africa visa for you and your family.
To move permanently to South Africa and to get a visa, you will need to fall into one of the applicable groupings that the South African government has determined.
This should not be considered emigration advice, and visa information can change. For professional advice and the most up-to-date information, suggest you contact a qualified migration specialist for more information or the South Africa Department of Home Affairs.
Obtaining your visa
Unless you have a valid long-term visa, you should not travel to South Africa before approval has been granted by the South African authorities. There have been reports of delays getting approval so you should apply as early as possible to avoid disruptions to your travel plans. The Department of Home Affairs will inform you whether your application has been successful.
Temporary residence permits
- Business permits
Foreigners who are contemplating investing in the South African economy by establishing a business or investing in an existing business must apply for a business permit. As an applicant, you will be required to make a financial capital contribution, which can be reduced for certain industries or business types.
- Work permits
Work permits are issued only to foreigners where South African citizens with the relevant skills are not available for the job. These permits are open-ended and applications must be made at any regional office of the South African Department of Home Affairs or nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad.
- General work permits
General work permits are valid for the duration of the contract of employment.
- Exceptional skills work permits
Exceptional skills work permits are only valid for three years.
- Intra-company transfer work permits
Multi-national companies may transfer an existing employee from a foreign branch of a company to a branch in South Africa. These employees must apply for intra-company transfer work permits. Intra-company transfer work permits are valid for two years and cannot be renewed or extended.
- Corporate permits
A corporate permit allows a corporate entity such as a mine group, farmer, etc. to employ a pre-determined number of skilled/semi-skilled/unskilled workers. There is no fixed validity period for such permits, as the validity period is determined by the corporation upon application.
Temporary residence permits
- Study permits
Study permits are valid for the duration of the course for which they are issued, alternatively 36 months for school and 24 months for other institutions.
- Exchange Permits
Exchange permits may be issued to foreigners under the age of 25 who wish to participate in cultural, economic or social exchange programmes administered by the State or a public higher educational institution in conjunction with a foreign state. The validity period of an exchange permit depends on the length of the programme for which it is issued and usually does not exceed 12 months. Exchange permits can not be renewed or extended.
- Retired person permits
Retired persons’ permits may be issued to persons who wish to retire in South Africa, provided that you can comply with certain financial regulations.
- Family permits
As an immediate family member of a South African citizen or permanent resident you may be issued a relative's permit once the financial means as contemplated in the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) have been complied with. Relative’s permits are valid for a minimum period of 24 months and may be extended.
- Medical treatment permits
Medical Treatment permits are valid for six months only.
Permanent residency (immigration)
In terms of granting Permanent Residency Permits, emphasis is placed on immigrants who are in a position to make a meaningful contribution to broadening the economic base of South Africa.
In order to make an application for a permanent residency permit, applicants must first submit representation to the Minister of Home Affairs motivating why he or she should be declared not to be a prohibited person or an undesirable person.
- Direct residence permits
This category of permit is applicable to foreigners who have been residing in South Africa on the basis of their work permits for a minimum period of five years, their spouses and also to dependents of South African citizens/permanent residence permit holders.
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Britannia Bradshaw can help your move go smoothly. Contact us for a free, no obligation quote, or by calling 0161 877 5555 (Manchester) or 0121 504 0966 (Birmingham & Coventry) and speak with one of our removals specialists.
How are our appointments carried out
In the current times you might prefer that we don't visit your house in person to carry out a survey. This is fully understandable and we can just as easily undertake the survey by video call, using whatever method you're comfortable with, usually FaceTime or WhatsApp.
See what our customers think of us...
We could not have asked for better moving service
We had 2 crews; Brian and George moved us out into storage. This time Sonic and Paul moved us from storage
into our new home. Both crews were excellent! They were very helpful and very professional. I cannot think of anything that I was not happy with.
Why did you use us? We had to choose the lowest of three quotes. Furthermore, having the consultant visit before quoting gave me confidence in the service that we would receive.
Do you have any additional comments or concerns regarding any portion of the service you received? I would like to commend the crew who moved in by name: Sonic and Paul. We could not have asked for better service.Colin SouthwayManchester
Excellent end to end service from the whole team
Ade and his team (Rhys, Spencer, Les, Lewis and Jay) were fantastic - friendly, hard working and extremely
courteous and got the job done without any fuss. I liked the service I received from the day of survey and also you moved a motorcycle for me.
Outstanding service. What really stood out was the excellent end to end service from the whole team - Martin
doing the survey, Jacki in the office and Ade, Rhys, Spencer, Les, Lewis and Jay on the packing/removal/delivery.
Every member of the team were a pleasure to deal with and made the whole experience as painless as possible.
No hesitation recommending.
Comments regarding your initial enquiry - Martin was knowledgeable and courteous and fully listed to what I wanted to achieveJoan MeehanBirmingham
The crew's polite, friendly and calm manner made the move so much easier
Peter and Simon were fantastic, can't speak highly enough of them both. We had a bit of grief from our seller, but the lads were amazing and the crew's polite, friendly and calm manner made the move so much easier. They were an absolute pleasure. Excellent initial enquiry service.
Why did you use us? Original agent I spoke was professional and easy to talk to.Dan MaxwellManchester
A lovely group of men
Why did you use us? Local company
Do you have any additional comments or concerns regarding any portion of the service you received? Ade Fabio Rhys Les and Dave were a lovely group of men.Rita HipkissBirmingham
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