Learn all about applying for a retirement permit in South Africa

Learn all about applying for a retirement permit in South Africa
Learn all about applying for a retirement permit in South Africa

If you are thinking about retiring to South Africa, below we look at the criteria and process for applying for a retirement permit in South Africa. A retirement permit is for permanent residency status in South Africa, if you are seeking a shorter stay please see here for details on the temporary retirement option, the retirement visa.

Process for making your application

When applying for a retirement permit in South Africa there are a number of steps you need to go through:

1. Establish your eligibility

We list the criteria below but the main consideration is your financial standing and ability to support yourself with no reliance on the state.

2. Decide whether you are need to apply for a retirement visa (temporary residency) as well as as a retired permit (permanent residency)

Temporary residency is obtained by applying for a Retirement Visa and is normally granted for 4 years. Permanent residency is for an indefinite period and granted via applying for a retired permit.

Note that temporary residency retired visas can be extended but you must meet the current qualifying criteria. Permanent residency is maintained by ensuring you visit South Africa at least once every 3 years.

So whilst it may be that you wish to obtain permanent residency and correctly are applying for a retirement permit you may wish to consider an application for a retirement visa as well. The main reason for this is one of timing. The process for applying for a retired visa will be much shorter than that of applying for a retirement permit for permanent residency. The permanent residency application process can take up to 2 years so if you wish to enter South Africa prior to this you will need to make a retirement visa application at the same time as your retirement permit application.

3. Compile your application

Below we list the documentation required when applying for a retired permit in South Africa:

  • Two passport size photographs;
  • A valid passport;
  • Completed Medical report;
  • Radiological report;
  • Full birth certificate in respect of each dependent child if applicable;
  • Marriage certificate if applicable;
  • Proof of legal adoption if applicable;
  • Legal separation order if applicable;
  • Police clearance certificates for all countries the applicant has resided in for one year or longer;
  • Yellow Vaccination certificate if applicable;
  • The completed application form for either temporary residency or permanent residency or both;
  • Proof of income.

4. Submit your application

The submission of your application for a retired permit can be a frustrating process. What is essential is the completeness of your application. Missing documentation, incorrect completion and a lack of supporting documentation will see it being rejected. All applications must be made with the applicant present for the purposes of taking biometrics.

5. Monitor your submission

Again this can be a frustrating process. The implemented track and trace system provides you with very basic information and whilst there is a call centre, information you receive in the way of feedback can be sporadic and conflicting. Nevertheless, it is important to follow up your requirement application regularly and ensure you keep documented the feedback you receive.

6. Collect your retired permit / permanent residency certificate

The process for applying for a retirement permit in South African has changed. No longer will you be issued with a ‘stamp’ to insert in your passport but will now only receive a permanent residency certificate. This can be picked up by Intergate Immigration without the need for you to be present.

How Intergate can help you with applying for a retired permit in South Africa

Intergate Immigration is one of South Africa’s premier immigration consultancies. We provide you with a free eligibility assessment and initial consultation as well as a full compilation, submission and monitoring process. In using our services for applying for your retirement permit for South Africa you will enjoy:

  • the reassurance of your application being processed by a immigration consultant
  • the comfort of having your application dealt with by a team of in excess of 30 individuals
  • a track record over the past 8 years of successfully completing thousands of permit applications.

You can submit your retirement permit enquiry by calling us on any of the above numbers or select from the below options.

Getting help with your visa or permit application

We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.

You can take our free one minute assessment here or request a call back for more information. Or simply call us at +27 (0)21 424 2460.

Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.


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