South African Immigration Advice

If you are Considering visiting or moving to South Africa you are not alone. First, you will need to secure a South African Visa. The country is rated as one of the most beautiful in the world, the stunning scenery is breathtakingly diverse, the climate is lovely, English is widely spoken and your money will no doubt go a long way when exchanged into South African Rand – you may even have family already living in the country. In fact, South Africa is the 7th most popular adoptive country for UK citizens alone.

Help You Secure Your South African Visa - For Free

If you want to secure your visa but not sure how Global Visas is here to help you.  You don't need to muddle through the visa process alone looking for information online which you hoped would be relevant to your circumstances and often confusing.  Best of all our services are completely free.

If you are interested in any of the visas listed below or just not sure which one is for you and have a question we can help.

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For even better results join our forum and create a topic about your case and create an entire case for people to help you every step of the way.

Immigration to South Africa

Moving to South Africa offers you the chance to live and work in one of the most exciting and culturally diverse countries in the world.

Home to more than 43 million people, this southern African nation is a true melting pot of cultures and customs with an unrivalled wealth of wildlife and geography.

South African Immigration presents a rich diversity for those who successfully enter the country.

Divided into nine provinces with major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, successful applicants can also enjoy the stunning scenery, including mountainous Swaziland and one of the few locations on earth with a mega diversity of flora and fauna.

The country also enjoys a temperate climate with warm weather almost all year round and more than twice as many hours of sunshine than the UK.

In terms of doing business, the country ranks highly among the nations of the world and those migrating to South Africa will find skills shortages in areas such as IT and engineering, low property prices and a low cost of living.

Although the country has no less than eleven official languages, English is very well represented and those who migrate to South Africa from English speaking countries will find the language in common usage almost everywhere.

Visa for South Africa

Those who wish to immigrate to South Africa may do so through either one of the temporary residence permits available, or alternatively, through one of the permanent residence permits which may, in time, lead to the opportunity to undergo South African naturalisation.

South African Immigration Visas allow people to gain Visas for South African excursions, South African Visas for longer-term work or study-based projects, or permanent residency Visas for those who wish to live and work in South Africa on a permanent basis.

As a specialist Immigration consultancy, Global Visas can help you to obtain any South African Visa service from a temporary Visitor Visa for tourists through to a permanent residence permit through several routes.

Our Immigration consultants can offer Immigration lawyer expertise and can help to ensure that you embark upon the most appropriate route for your relocation to South Africa.

Work visa in South Africa

For those who wish to commence living and working in South Africa for an agreed period of time, Global Visas can help to secure a South African work permit which, like the UK work permits and similar documentation in many other countries, allows candidates to work for a specific employer in a specific pre-arranged position.

South African work permits are an employer-led temporary residence permit, however, the potential for permanent residency in South Africa exists for those who remain in the country for five years or more in possession of a working permit.

In South Africa, Visas are also available for those who wish to work in the country by starting a business or by investing in an existing enterprise.

As is the case with UK Business Visas and US Immigration services such as the EB-5 Investors Visa, these Immigration routes depend largely on an investment being made, but also require demonstrable business experience.

Study visa South Africa: South African Immigration Study Permit

A South African study permit can also be obtained by our migration consultants, allowing foreign nationals to commence studying in South Africa.

In general, South African study permits will be granted for the duration of the course being undertaken.

South African Immigration for Spouse

In South Africa, Immigration is permitted for the spouse or life partner of a South African permanent resident or South African citizen.

Our Immigration lawyers can help you to apply for South African permanent residence through this Immigration service.

In addition, we can also assist people who wish to enter the country under a family Visa route by helping them to obtain a South African relative permit for family Immigration.

This South Africa Visa service enables relatives within the first or second degree of kinship to South African permanent residents or South African citizens to move to the country on a temporary or permanent basis.

South African Retirement Visa

Retiring in South Africa is a popular option for those who wish to live in South Africa on a seasonal basis, spending part of the year in the country and the remainder in their country of residence.

A South African retirement permit can be granted for four years and renewed any number of times for the same period.

Permanent Residence Visa in South Africa

Many of the Visa types outlined above are granted as temporary residence permits, however, in some circumstances, candidates may undergo South African Immigration as a permanent arrangement by qualifying for a permanent residency permit.

Permanent resident status affords successful applicants many of the rights and privileges which people with South African citizenship enjoy with some exceptions, most notably the right to vote.

Applying for permanent residence may be possible in categories such as working permits or business permits.

There are several main South African Visa categories you can apply under:

Visitor Visas

Student Visas

Business Visas

Work Visas

Family Visas

Retirement Visas

How can we help you secure your visa?


  1. DD


    Hello, my husband (of 12 years) is a South African citizen by birth and an Australian Permanent Resident. I am an Australian citizen by birth and hold dual Australian and Maltese citizenship. We want to move to SA this year, so I’m looking into the Relatives Visa… but should I be looking at applying for Permanent Residence? How long should I allow for this process? I also want to work or start a business in SA but it seems I can’t be endorsed to work/start a business until I’m in SA… Is that correct? Is it likely that my request will be refused?! Also, both of our young daughters were born in Australia. The eldest has her birth registered in SA, but I haven’t registered the youngest yet. I’m planning to do this soon.

    1. Profile photo of Your Immigration Expert
      Your Immigration Expert Post author


      Often people believe South African Immigration control is draconian and difficult to navigate and often they have good grounds. As the spouse of a South African national your visa should be approved as long as the relationship is subsisting and with children together there is no reason to believe there would be any issues.

      An application processing time for a visa in South Africa is a different issue, for many reasons beyond my understanding processing times can take vary considerably. I have worked on cases that have taken six weeks and a similar case took six months. Therefore leave plenty of time prior to the date of departure.
      If you are looking to secure assistance with South African immigration from a qualified lawyer or immigration expert I would urge caution as these people are often under qualified and will not be able to speed up the process and simply act as a middleman between you and your case officer.

      Working in South Africa will not be an issue once you secure your visa and you will be able to open a CC or Pty if you decide to open your own business. I love South Africa and their spirit of openness and positive attitude means most issues can be overcome with a little time and patience.

      Here is a link that may help you:

      Enjoy your new life in South Africa and you will secure permanent residency and everything will fall into place. If you would like further specific help please ask more questions or join our forum and open a group and topic so other members can join the conversation and provide their advice and support.
      I would like to hear from anyone who knows an excellent South African Immigration consultant who they have used and found them to be professional and added value so we can refer them to our members if they would like paid support for more complex cases.

      1. Sabrina Helgeson

        Hi I’m applying for a life Partner Permit but I can’t get my affidavit signed by a commissioner of oaths as my partner is already living in SA. Do you have any tips on what I could do?

        Thanks in advance.

  2. Shani

    Stating A Business in South Africa

    I want to open a South African branch of my business ASAP which is from Miami, USA and will, therefore be moving to Cape Town for a Year or two to establish this. I know I need to apply for a business visa but am unsure of whether I can apply once I arrive in SA or if I should apply in the US or online. There isn’t a South African consulate near me in Miami. Would be grateful if you could direct me in the right direction because I don’t seem to be getting the right information from my side.

    1. Profile photo of Your Immigration Expert
      Your Immigration Expert Post author

      Business Investor Visas

      There are South African Consulates in the USA who can assist you and would be delighted to hear about your plans to expand your business into their country. The process can be completed prior to arrival in South Africa.
      I would urge you to ensure you have all your paperwork in place prior to arrival to save time and money later. The planned approach also reduces some of the risks involved with opening a new business in a foreign jurisdiction. From personal experience, I would suggest you look at ABSA as your business bank. Let me know how you get on or if you have more questions.

  3. Jennifer

    Exhange Student Visa

    I am currently applying for a Student Exchange Visa for South Africa, as I have to conduct an internship for my studies. I am having trouble filling out the BI-1738 Immigration Form and was wondering if you could help me?

    1. Profile photo of Your Immigration Expert
      Your Immigration Expert Post author

      Completing Your South African Visa Application Form

      The Bi-738 form may appear confusing on first inspection as the South African Immigration Department rely on this form to process several visa classes. This means many of the questions are not relevant to your case. Even though you will need to provide and answer almost anything you write will suffice.

      You may ask me any question you like, but it would be easier if you joined our site and opened a new topic in our ask a question section. I look forward to helping you further.

  4. Bro Kingsley

    Applying For A Student Visa To South Africa

    how do I get a Visa to South Africa to enable me Attend the “International School of Ministry:”?

    1. Profile photo of Your Immigration Expert
      Your Immigration Expert Post author

      Student Visa For South Africa

      As a student in a religious ministry, the entry requirements for South African immigration are quite low. You will require a letter of enrollment and evidence of funds, along with strong connections with Nigeria to show you intend to return home at the end of your studies. The fact is though in support of religious freedoms no Government wants to be seen to be interfering in a person following their faith.

      I mean could you imagine how things would have turned out if the three wise men were stopped at the border and refused entry. There would be no nativity play! Please let me know how you get on and if I can assist further.

  5. Sabrina helgeson

    I wish to move to South Africa to be with my South African partner of 2.5yrs. I have one problem, I see that we need an affidavit signing but my current partner is starting up a new business in SA and I have 3 months left at work in the U.K. whilst I sort the visa. Is it still possible for me to apply and be successful?

  6. Tish

    Hi, my girlfriend is a Botswana National and she studied in South Africa for 3 years to complete her degree under a study visa. She graduated recently but her honours will only commence next year. her study visa has now expired but we are currently living together and she would like to stay in South Africa. She has been offered a part-time job, but the company is small so one or two of the work visa requirements are outstanding as the company can’t provide the documentation. What are her options? Your help would be much appreciated.

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