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 Admin Here To Help
      Admin Here To Help 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.

  2. Charlotte Arthun

    I am applying from the United States for a volunteer visa for South Africa. I will be working at a safari lodge as their photographer, but will not be paid. My volunteer position is for one year. Do I qualify for a volunteer visa, or does the institution need to be a non-profit? What does the letter of invitation need to include specifically? Thank you so much.

    1. Profile photo of Admin Here To Help
      Admin Here To Help Post author

      To secure a volunteer visa for South Africa the unpaid work must be under the order of a bona fide charity or volunteering institution. The lodge will be connected to a conservation charity in South Africa who may endorse your application if you agree to share your photos with them. The arrangement can be discussed further now you under the rule. South Africa still has a fragile economy and their remains a large percentage of the indigenous people without employment and there are no social services making even “unpaid” work desirable as it could lead to tips, food, training or a full-time job. While affirmative action laws still apply to underline this point.

      If you are going to remain longer than six months you will be required to complete a medical and have a yellow fever vaccination.

      The letter simply needs to be on letterhead, outline the duties you will carry out, confirmation it is an unpaid role, the duration of your expected service, signed by a manager with contact details on letterhead. Charities in South Africa are not expected to write a letter in any specific format as this could delay help arriving and distract them from the charitable work they are doing.

      If you can not secure a volunteer visa, I would recommend a retirement visa as there is no minimum age limit and you can secure a temporary retirement visa for four years. For a temporary residency visa, you must demonstrate you have access to ZAR 37,000 per month. This can be in the form of cash/cash equivalents or cash income generated by your capital asset(s). The proof of funds can be either of the aforementioned or a combination of both.

      This would allow you to follow your passion while remaining compliant with South African immigration laws. If you would like further help simply post a further question by joining our community and opening a group or new topic so I can guide you through the visa process.

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