South African Retirement Visa
Source: SA Migration, 20/03/2019
A South African Retired Person`s permit is ideal for people want to
retire in South Africa temporarily or permanently subject to the
financial criteria or parameters being satisfied. This South African
visa category is designed for those intending to retire in the country
or wishing to have a long stay in South Africa with the need to renew
the visa or permit. This retirement visa is not based on age but
rather on assets, rental income and / or bank accounts generating
income. It is based upon foreigner provide proof that such foreigner
has the right to a pension or an annuity or retirement account which
will give such foreigner a prescribed minimum payment for the rest of
his or her life from the country of his or her origin; or a minimum
prescribed net worth generating income for life.
This South African immigration visa is a popular option for seasonal
visitors, i.e. those visiting the country for a period of six months
or more. 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. In South Africa,
immigration through the retired person`s route can be either a
temporary visa permit or a permanent residence visa as outlined in the
eligibility criteria summarized below.
The temporary route is granted for four years and is renewable
indefinitely for four-year periods.
The permanent route offers 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 the temporary and permanent residence category the, South
African Retired Persons Visa is based upon financial criteria and
unlike a South African Work Visa, no prior job offer needs to be in
place before an application can be made. Although unlike temporary
South African visit visas, retired people can permitted to work if
they wish, provided they apply under the correct visa category â€`
Retirement plus Work Visa We wish to stress that the category â€œretired
person`, does not confer a maximum or minimum age limit for 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
A pension, retirement account or irrevocable annuity which has a value
of at least R37, 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 R37, 000 per month. Once again, this criterion
applies to each person making an application.
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 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 now 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 automatically qualify for visit visa
status to accompany the principle applicant and does not have to meet
the same criteria for temporary residence but for the purposes of
permanent residence they are treated as one family unit.
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.
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 than R12 million.
In addition, it would also be necessary to demonstrate proof of
payment of R120,000 as a non-refundable sum to the Director General of
Home Affairs. The application for a financially independent visa will
lead to permanent residence.
A retired persons visa may be issued for a period exceeding three
months to a foreigner who intends to retire in the Republic, provided
that the foreigner provide proof that such foreigner has the right to
a pension or an annuity or retirement account which will give such
foreigner a prescribed minimum payment for the rest of his or her life
from the country of his or her origin; or a minimum prescribed net worth.
The Department may authorise the holder of a retired person permit to
conduct work under terms and conditions as the Department may deem fit
to determine under the circumstances.
A retired person visa may allow its holder to sojourn in the Republic
on a seasonal or continuous basis; and not exceed a four-year period,
at the expiry of which it may be renewed one or more times.