Retirement Visas

South Africa Retirement Visas

Applying for a South African Retired Person's permit allows those wishing to immigrate to South Africa to settle in the country on a temporary or permanent basis, provided that the financial criteria is satisfied.

This South Africa visa category is designed for those intending to retire in the country. It is based upon applicants providing evidence of a lifelong pension or income.

This South African immigration service is a popular option for seasonal visitors, i.e. those visiting the country for a period of six months or longer. An important point to observe is that successful applicants are under no obligation to apply for permanent residence.

The temporary grant may be renewed indefinitely so long as the requirements continue to be met. However, permanent residency does bestow additional benefits upon its holder.

South African Visa Immigrations Services

South African visas and immigration advisory services for those wishing to migrate to South Africa are varied, catering for many different types of immigrants.

A broad spectrum of immigration visas are offered depending upon the length of time a candidate will be visiting the country for and the purpose of their visit.

Where candidates intend to relocate to South Africa for a short period, as a tourist or to visit family and friends a South African visitor visa, often referred to as a visit visa or travel visa will be required.

However, for those wishing to live and work in South Africa either for a specific period or on a permanent basis, a range of temporary residence and permanent residence permits are available.

Global Visas can help you to navigate the South African visa services available, helping you to assess your eligibility and enabling you to embark upon the most appropriate route for your relocation to South Africa.

Visas can be managed at every stage from initial enquiry through to on-arrival services. Our immigration consultants can also provide immigration lawyer advice to help you relocate to South Africa quickly and efficiently.

Visa Benefits

In South Africa, immigration through the retired person's route can be either a temporary residence permit or a permanent residence permit as outlined in the eligibility criteria summarised below.

The temporary route is granted for the comparatively lengthy duration of four years and is renewable indefinitely for four-year periods.

The permanent variant affords permanent residents the same rights and privileges as those with South African citizenship, with a few key exceptions, most notably the right to vote.

In both cases, South African Retired Persons Permits are based upon financial criteria and unlike a South African Work Permit, no prior job offer needs to be in place before an application can be made. Although unlike temporary South African visit visas, retired people are permitted to work if they wish.

It is worth noting also that despite the term "retired person", no age limit is imposed upon this class of visa for South Africa. Retired person's visas may be awarded to people of all ages, proving that the eligibility requirements below are met.

Visa Eligibility

When applying for a South African retired person's permit as a temporary immigration service, that is, to receive a temporary resident permit for South Africa, successful applicants may reside in the country for four years.

This four year period can be renewed any number of times and in addition, applicants may select whether to live and work in South Africa continually or seasonally.

In South Africa, visa applications for this migration service must be able to provide evidence of the following:

  • A pension, retirement account or irrevocable annuity which has a value of at least R20,000 per month. This requirement applies to each person making an application.
  • Alternatively, candidates may obtain a South African visa of this kind by demonstrating a "net worth" through a combination of assets which equates to a minimum of R20,000 per month. Once again, this criterion applies to each person making an application.

As discussed, these South Africa visas for immigration may also be applied for as a permanent route to immigrating to South Africa. The key difference here is that a permanent grant must be applied for from within the country and would be made after arrival on the temporary version.

An alternative route exists in the financially independent visa for which candidates would need to be able to demonstrate a net asset value totalling not less that R7.5 million.

In addition, it would also be necessary to demonstrate proof of payment of R75,000 as a non-refundable sum to the Director General of Home Affairs.


The nature of this type of immigration to South Africa is such that no specific stipulations are in place regarding a candidate's ability to work in South Africa.

In most cases, it may be assumed that people embarking upon this route, based as it is upon a steady income from a source other than employment will not be entering the country to work. However, each case will be considered individually and candidates may be able to work during their time in the country.

Applicants wishing to work will need to submit an employment contract and demonstrate that no South African citizen or resident is available for the position. If candidates were to achieve permanent resident status then as with other routes to settled status, working in South Africa would be permitted.


Spouse immigration and dependent immigration are not provided through temporary South African Retired person's visas. This route to South Africa is based upon the financial security of each applicant and unlike work permit visas or business visas, the dependent family members of retired applicants do not automatically qualify for visit visa status to accompany the principle applicant.

However, in cases where an applicant successfully obtains permanent residence as a retired person, their spouse and/or dependent children, i.e. those aged under 21 will also qualify for permanent residency.

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