Visa Crunch

How To Get South African Citizenship And Permanent Residency?

South Africa is considered one of the most beautiful countries globally. The nation is dominated by an excellent natural habitat, extended topography, and cultural distinctions, making them the most appealing tourist attraction.

Apart from favourable destinations, what makes South Africa take the first position on the heap is that the citizens get the best of everything. From health, education, work system, and access to visa-free travel South African citizenship is the stepping stone to permanent residence after five years of living.

A Basic Overview:

Like every other country in the world, people who obtain South African citizenship enjoy certain rights and responsibilities. However, when it comes to permanent residency there are certain rules that the citizens must abide by.

First and foremost is living in the country for the first year or else the permit might get withdrawn. Secondly, you must have a clean criminal record or else there is a high chance of the residency getting cancelled.

Now let us check out the various ways in which an individual can obtain citizenship.

Citizenship by Birth: According to South African laws, if a person is born in South Africa then he/she is automatically entitled to become a citizen of the country. In other cases, a child’s parent gets citizenship of South Africa if they have:

  • Birth registration of another country. 
  • Have access to government services, representatives, or associated with a resident.

Citizenship by Descent: Citizenship by Descent is another process through which a person can become a South African citizen. If by any chance a person is adopted by a South African parent or born outside and one of their parents are South African then he/she is a citizen of the country. However, there are certain basic requirements to be fulfilled which are:

  • A DHA-24 form for birth registration.
  • Marriage certificate of parents. 
  • If the parents are unmarried at the time of adoption or birth of the child, they need to sign the BI-24 form to confirm parenthood. 

Also, other documents required are a child’s birth certificate, document for parents identity and adoption application letter.

Citizenship by Naturalization: Any individual can become a South African citizen through Naturalization provided they have lived at least 5 years and have permanent residence. People can also apply for citizenship after one year of residency which is followed by four years of living and eight years of naturalization. Other cases in which naturalization applies is:

  • If the person or their spouse is South African, the other can obtain citizenship. But, the person must live in the country for two years or be married for two years after applying before applying for citizenship. 
  • All minor people under 21 with permanent residence can apply for citizenship. 
  • Acquiring knowledge about the official language along with responsibilities and duties is also mandatory before becoming a South African citizen. 

Pertinent Requirements of Applying for Citizenship By Naturalization of South Africa 

To apply for citizenship by naturalization person need to pay the fee and present the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Divorce Decree
  • Non-South African citizen identity document.
  • Re-issue of identity document application besides 2 photographs. 
  • Permanent residence document.

Benefits Of Obtaining South African Citizenship

Apart from providing the right to vote, live, study and work, the citizens of South Africa get access to enormous benefits which are:

  • Getting hold of the South African passport which ranks 53rd worldwide. 
  • Visa-free travel access to approximately 60 countries across the world. 
  • Greater security and flexibility in daily lifestyles. 
  • Permanent residency for all family members after 5 years.

Any person can become a South African citizen by fulfilling certain basic requirements. The country also allows dual nationality to their citizens, which acts as a major advantage for high net worth individuals.


The financially independent visa allows a person to apply for permanent residency directly and therefore allowing the applicant to work, study or manage their own business in South Africa. A financially independent visa is for those who can sustain themselves without an income within the country. Ideal for people of any age and nationality wishing to permanently stay in South Africa.


  • Proof of the prescribed minimum net worth of at least $795,000
  • Proof of identification
  • Undergo a medical examination
  • Provide original police clearance certificate
  • Pay an application fee of $8,000 directly to the Director-General upon approval of the application
  • Once the application is granted, the applicant must enter South Africa at least once every 3 years


Prepare all application forms, supporting documentation and submit your application


  • Reside, work, study and start a business in South Africa
  • Grants permanent residence status and the possibility to apply for a Non-Citizen Identity Book
  • No age requirement and open to all nationalities
  • No investment or residency required
  • Valid indefinitely

Dependents can be included:

  • Spouse
  • Children up to 25 if full-time student
  • Children between 18 and 25 if financially dependent on their parents
  • Any age if medical dependent due to handicap or such but must be confirmed by Dr’s.
  • South Africa is a business hub on the African continent with a fast-paced real estate market, exceptional private healthcare and developed tourism industry
  • Application can be submitted from abroad or from South Africa

PERMANENT RESIDENCY FOR SOUTH AFRICA: On basis of establishing a new business or investing in an existing business in South Africa

Capital contribution of not less than R 5 million in new machinery or equipment in a new or existing business 60% of total staff shall be citizens or permanent residents as permanent employees.

PERMANENT RESIDENCY FOR SOUTH AFRICA: On basis of establishing a new business or investing in an existing business in South Africa

Minimum monthly income of R 37,000 for the applicant derived from pension/irrevocable annuity/retirement accounts or combination of assets, or the applicant’s net worth.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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