Permanent Residence for South Africa
At the end of each of the visa categories we have pointed out whether or not the respective category exists for permanent residence.
In general it should be noted that the permanent residence permit in South Africa allows its holder maximum flexibility with regards to entry and exit as well as regarding any activities followed in South Africa. In some categories or instances, certain conditions are attached to the permanent residence permits issued. In most instances, a permanent resident is able to freely choose his/her activity in South Africa after up to 5 years of having received the permit.
The status of permanent resident does not affect the holder’s. The permanent resident can obtain a South African identity book endorsed as "non-citizen", but not a South African passport (see citizenship for information on passports).
Each foreigner is advised to carefully contemplate his/her taking up of permanent residence, as this may in some instances lead to the loss of certain tax advantages. IMCOSA will gladly advise you on the best option in each case.
Persons who have previously been granted permanent residence for South Africa, subsequently left the country and now wish to take up residence again, will find it worth their while to have the validity of their original status checked. A consultation with an immigration expert is particularly advisable in these cases.