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​Residence permits
​Study permits are issued to applicants who intend to study at primary, secondary or tertiary institutions or other educational institutions in South Africa for longer than three months. The applicant is interviewed and is required to submit proof of provisional enrolment with an educational institution.

Study permits are issued for 36 months in respect of primary or secondary education and for the duration of the course in respect of tertiary education. Permits for studies at other educational institutions are issued for a maximum period of two years.

A medical treatment permit is issued to a person who intends to receive medical treatment in South Africa for more than three months. An applicant for a medical treatment permit is, inter alia, required to submit a letter from his or her medical practitioner indicating the reasons for the treatment and the duration of the treatment, as well as proof of sufficient funds to cover the medical expenses or membership of a medical scheme.

A relative's permit is issued to an immediate family member of a South African citizen or permanent resident. The South African citizen or permanent resident must accept full responsibility for the foreign family member's needs while they live here, as well as proof of a minimum amount of R5 000 per person. Under the relative's permit, the foreign family member is not allowed to work, study or enter into any business activities. A relative's permit is issued for two years.

A retired person's permit is issued to a foreigner who intends to retire to South Africa. Applicants must submit proof of a minimum monthly income of R20 000 from a pension fund, retirement account or irrevocable retirement annuity. A retired person's permit is valid for four years.

Work permits: in accordance with the South African government's Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA), the minister of home affairs, in conjunction with his or her counterparts in trade and industry and labour, on an annual basis, publishes specific professional categories for which a demand exists in the local labour market.

Applicants for work permits in such professional categories are issued with quota work permits for an unlimited period of time.

General work permits are issued to foreigners who do not qualify for a quota work permit, provided that the applicant's prospective employer, inter alia, submits proof that the local labour market was tested and that no suitably qualified or experienced South African citizen was available for employment in the position offered to the foreign candidate.

The Immigration Act makes provision for a foreigner to apply for permanent residence status in various categories: 

​​​​A foreigner who has been a resident in South Africa on a work permit for a continuous period of five years and who has received a permanent offer of employment;

A foreigner who has been the spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident for a continuous period of five years;

A child of a South African citizen or permanent resident under the age of 21 years;

A child of a South African citizen;

A foreigner who has been offered permanent employment provided that satisfactory proof be submitted that no suitably qualified South African citizen was available to fill the position;

A foreigner who has exceptional skills or qualifications, subject to the same criteria applicable to the exceptional skills work permit category;

A foreigner who wishes to establish a business or invest in an exciting business in South Africa, subject to the same criteria applicable to a business permit under temporary residence;

A foreigner who has been a recognised refugee in South Africa for a continuous period of five years;

A foreigner who intends to retire to South Africa, subject to the same criteria applicable to the retired category under temporary residence;

A foreigner who is considered to be financially independent and produces proof of a minimum net worth of R7,5-million; and

A foreigner who falls within the first step of kinship of a South African citizen or permanent resident, namely, parents and children. ​​​

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