What To Do If You Want To Move To South Africa

What To Do If You Want To Move To South AfricaWould you like to make a fresh start in a new country? Or would do simply like the idea of living and working in another country for a year or two?

If the answer is ‘yes’ and your choice of country has fallen on South Africa, continue reading to find out what to do if you want to move to South Africa.

Where do I start?

Your first step should always be an immigration assessment. This assessment will do two things:

  1. Show whether or not you qualify to move to South Africa.
  2. Reveal the visa you’re eligible for, should you qualify for immigration.

Only when the outcome is positive, should you go ahead with a visa application.

Choosing to apply for a visa without knowing if you qualify could be disastrous. For instance, you may discover halfway through the process that you’re applying for the incorrect visa. Or, worse still, get a rejection because you didn’t meet all the requirements.

What are the requirements I should meet?

To move to South Africa, you must be of good health and character. All other main criteria are determined by the visa you qualify for. Below we’ll list the main requirements of each:

  • Critical skills visa: Your occupation must appear on South Africa’s critical skills list.
  • General work visa: The South African employer must be able to prove that they couldn’t find a South African to fill the advertised position.
  • Intra-company transfer work visa: The South African company must be a branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the overseas company. A skills transfer plan must be in place.
  • Corporate workers permit: The company must have received a corporate permit.
  • Spousal and life partner permit: You must be able to prove that the marriage is real or that you are in a committed relationship.
  • Relative visa: You must be either a first-kin or second-kin relative, as defined by the South African Immigration Act. You must also prove financial assurance to the amount of R8,500 per month, per person.
  • Study visa: A letter of acceptance from either the school or tertiary institution. For tertiary studies, it must be a full-time course.
  • Retired visa: You must be able to show that you have R37,000 per month available for the duration of the visa’s validity.
  • Business visa: You must invest a capital amount of at least R5 million. You must also undertake to employ at least 60% South Africans.

Where do I apply?

If you’re applying for a South African visa or permit for the first time, you’ll have to apply in your home country. You’ll submit your application at an embassy or consulate.

It’s important to note that you cannot change from a tourist visa to a temporary residency visa while in South Africa.

How do I go about choosing an immigration partner to work with?

There is no law that states you should appoint an immigration service provider to assist with your visa application. However, if you want to make your move to South Africa simpler, it is highly advisable to work with someone who knows South Africa’s immigration legislation.

As South African immigration consultants don’t have to be registered or licensed in any way, you must practice caution when choosing someone to help you. You want to ensure that the consultant or company has a:

  • Proven track record. Ask for testimonials or, even better, look for reviews online.
  • Website. You can use details found on the website to cross-reference what you find online.
  • Physical address. 

Also look for affiliations with or endorsements from other industry players. For instance, Intergate Immigration is affiliated with Cape Town Tourism. You can find all our affiliations at the bottom of our website.

Get in touch if you have more questions

You’re bound to have many more questions, so please feel free to contact us to get answers. You can either call us on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or email us. You can also request a call back and one of our consultants will contact you instead.

If you’d like to start with an immigration assessment right away, you can do it here.

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