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.
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Professional visit and quote
James Conley was leading and in control at all times. Used the company after getting an impressive flyer through letter box and professional visit and quote. Martin Wilkes handled the initial enquiry knowledgeably and courteously all aspects.Bernard StevensBirmingham
Very courteous and went outside of their job roles to help us!
Excellent bunch, very courteous and went outside of their job roles to help us! I used the company as it is local to my printing company in Trafford Park, Manchester.Gavin PageManchester
The video call worked really well for showing you what we needed to move during the challenging times of Covid-19
What a great team! They were super efficient, really helpful and great to have around. The team were professional, efficient, and really lovely people to have around on what could have been a stressful day! They coped well with the additional challenges associated with us having a newborn baby too!
We used the company based on reputation, availability to help, how good the team member was when we had our initial consultation. The initial enquiry via video call worked really well for showing you what we needed to move during the challenging times of Covid-19.Huw CoxBirmingham
Very informative and provided a quote very quickly
Very friendly, efficient and clearly had a lot of experience. Very informative and provided a quote very quickly after a video tour. I received a flyer through the door and when I Googled the company I could see you are members of BAR and have great customer feedback.
Keeley was extremely helpful and fast at responding to me. We had to cancel our first date and at first couldn't re-book for our new date as Britannia were fully booked but as soon as a cancellation came in Keeley called me and got us booked in, I felt she really did everything she could to make the process as smooth as possible and I was grateful to have her help and expertise. The removal team, Ryan and Pete, were fantastic. They were very friendly and made us feel confident that they would look after our possessions. We had to wait more than 2 hours to receive the keys to our new house and they were very patient and understanding. When we came to unload 3 more crew turned up (who had been on a half day job) to help unload our belongings, so the unloading was done super fast and very efficiently with all furniture and boxes going to the correct rooms. I would absolutely recommend this company, they provided an excellent service at every point.
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