South African Retirement Visa or permit applications

South African Retirement Visa or Permit application
South African Retirement Visa or Permit application

Spain, Cyprus, Australia?Ever considered South Africa as a retirement destination?  The Retiree friendly Visa and Permit application rules are making South Africa a real rival to traditional retirement destinations.

They used to say life began at 40, but now… it’s life beings at 60!

Those days of retirees seeing out their twilight years sitting on their couch and watching TV all day long, have become a distant memory. In fact retirees are now the target market for tourism companies and many other industries as retirees seek to ensure their retirement years are full of new experiences.

For many, the lure of these new experiences are not satisfied with a two week break and hundreds of thousands decide to make the move abroad permanently or divide their time between two countries.

If you too would like to spend your golden years exploring new passions, hobbies, socializing with like minded folk, with plenty opportunity for an outdoors lifestyle or just quiet time relaxing on the beach, then you’ll be happy to learn South Africa welcomes retirees and the South African Retirement Visa or Permit Application  is a wonderful and realistic option for you!

Drawn by a relatively low cost of living, warm climate, incredible scenery, and world renown game parks, recent figures have shown there are more than 39,000 UK citizens living in South Africa and drawing a UK state pension.

Its not difficult to see why so many have applied for a South African Retirement Visa or Permit, as South Africa boasts world-class private medical facilities, broad entertainment offering, naturally beautiful land, diverse culture, and it’s rich wildlife.
You could choose to buy a house in a neighborhood you like, or move to a trendy retirement estate.
Retirement estates in South Africa are typically set up like holiday resorts with security, social clubs, salons, bowling greens, cafes’, pool areas, and even golf clubs in some cases.
South Africa in general offers marvelous activities like nature walks, wine routes, coast lines and beaches, theater, world class dining, and amazing heritage sites.

Either way your new potential home in South will offer you close proximity to nature, top notch social facilities and like-minded neighbors

Cape Town South Africa an extremely popular destination for retires. It boasts exquisite vineyards, botanical gardens and pristine beaches, and is classified as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and ranks amongst the top three tourist destinations.

Immigrated Retirees’ quality of life in South Africa is undisputed and we at Intergate immigration have helped hundreds of retirees not just receive their South African Retirement Visa or Permit, but successfully settle into their new life in South Africa.

Some helpful tips to ‘gearing up’ towards retiring in South Africa:

1. Visit South Africa first and get a sense of this amazing land for yourself.
2. Start deciding what you want to do with your household belongings.
3. Set up a ‘virtual office’ as in set up an email account, internet banking access, online communication applications like Skype to enable you to call back home, an international cell number or Sim card.
4. Invest in a laptop, the more mobile and self sufficient you are the better.
5. Get good tax and financial advise regarding your existing policies, and plans you may have at home.
6. Research residency options…and this is where we come in…


What are the South African Retirement Visa and Permit application options?

The Two routes possible when considering a South African Retirement Visa and Permit application are: Retired Permits or Independent Financial Person Permits, and their focus is on the applicant’s ability to be able to support themselves financially.

1.  A Retired Permit/Visa which can be made on a temporary or permanent residency basis.

What are the main criteria for being able to qualify for a Retired Permit/Visa in South Africa?

  • A Retired Visa application for temporary residence can be made by demonstrating either R37,000 per month in guaranteed income, a capital sum equal to 444,000 per annum (1,776,000 for the full four year eligibility) or a combination of both. It is valid for up to four years.
  • A Retired Permit application for permanent residency is made by showing a guaranteed monthly income of R37,000 per month. It is valid forever, but the holder must visit South Africa at least once every three years to maintain the permit.
  • Retirement Visas are valid for 4 years. Retired Visa renewal applications can be done after this period, as long as the applicant still meets the required criteria.

2. An Independent Financial persons Permit: this is for permanent residency only.

  • Financially Independent Permit requires the applicant to have a net worth of R12 million rand, and the individual must pay a once-off fee of R120,000.The holder must also visit South Africa at least once every three years to maintain the permit.

What else must be presented with a South African Retirement Visa and Permit application?
When applying for a Retired Permit or Visa there is a number of standard items, which include:

  • Either the permanent or temporary residency application form
  • Valid passport
  • Medical and radiologist reports
  • Police clearance certificate (s)
  • Yellow fever certificate (where applicable)
    Proof of finances

Where can I apply for my South African Retirement Visa or Permit?

You can apply for a South African Retirement Visa or Permit:

  • In your country of origin, residence or in South Africa.
  • If you are applying for a change of status-as it would be for new applicants-this must be done so from your country of residence.
  • When applying in your country of origin or residence, you must do so at a South African Embassy or Consulate.
  • If you apply in South Africa, you must do so at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). These bodies are run and managed by the company Visa Facilitation Services (VFS); do not apply at a Department of Home Affairs office.

 How long will it take to process my South African Retirement Visa or Permit application?

  • If you applying for a Temporary Residence Visa it normally takes between 8 and 12 weeks.
  • If you are applying for a Permanent Residence Permit it normally takes from 12-24 months.

In Summary:

  • The South African retired Visa and Permit, along with the Financially Independent Permit, are ideal for people wanting to retire in South Africa temporarily or permanently.
  • Both are based on financial criteria – assets, rental income and / or bank accounts generating income.
  • Both are not subject to age of the applicants.

So in essence your ‘gearing to’ up to retire in South Africa list could continue something like this…

7.Let your council know and leave forwarding address and contacts
8.Have a big farewell party
9.Get on the plane, the best years of your life awaits in South Africa!


Let us help you take flight
Contact us for a free consultation.

+ 27 (0)21 424 2460 (Cape Town)

+ 27 (0)11 234 4275 (Johannesburg)