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Permanent residence in South Africa

Foreign citizen is eligible to apply for permanent residence if he has been lawfully living in South Africa for the minimum period of 5 years on the basis of residence permit.

Upon 5 years of legal residence in South Africa individuals with business visa or work visa, as well as well-off retirees and family members of South African nationals/citizens are eligible for permanent residence. 

The only exception is the spouse of South African national. In this case terms for permanent residence obtaining are reduced to 6 months without prior residence permit. 

In order to apply for permanent residence the form BI-947 must be filled in. It is also required to provide your fingerprints, marriage certificate (if any), police clearance certificate and valid residence permit.

Application for permanent residence can be refused in case an alien has dangerous diseases (yellow fever, cholera, HIV infection, etc.) or troubles with the law (participation in organized crime group etc.).

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