Our immigration lawyers in South Africa assist foreign citizens who wish to relocate here.
US citizens visiting the Republic of South Africa for 90 days or less do not need a visa, however, those who intend to move to South Africa from USA will need a temporary residence visa.
In order to start the process to relocate to South Africa from USA, American citizens will need to prepare for the temporary visa application with adequate documentation that will justify their purpose of stay.
You can easily start the process to move to South Africa from USA with the help of our immigration experts.
Our lawyers in South Africa provide complete assistance throughout the application process, thus ensuring that your submission is a correct one and that you meet the timeframe for your relocation.
Table of Contents
Types of temporary residence visas for those who move to South Africa from USA
A temporary residence visa is issued upon request and had a validity period of over 3 months but no more than 3 years.
The following types of temporary residence visas can be applied for as the first step by those who wish to immigrate to South Africa from USA:
- Work visa: for those who have the general or special qualifications to work in South Africa and have obtained a work offer from a local employer;
- Business visa: for those who wish to open a company or invest in an existing one; they can also be employed in this company;
- Study visa: for US nationals accepted to study at one of the South African universities or follow other studies with a recognized educational institution;
- Relative visa: for the spouse/relatives of a South African citizen who wish to join him or her in South Africa.
The work visa is divided into several categories. In order to move to South Africa from USA the applicant will need to state its type:
- General work: for US nationals who have general qualifications, irrespective of field, to work in South Africa;
- Intra-company transfer: for those who are transferred by their company to its South African branch or another affiliate company;
- Critical skills: for those US nationals who have skills that are critical or scarce in South Africa;
- Corporate: issued to a legal person that will employ foreign nationals who will conduct work for it.
American investors interested in company formation in South Africa can receive personalized counsel from our team of incorporation experts. The business visa targets entrepreneurs who are able to make an investment of a minimum amount. The company incorporated for the purpose of gaining the residence permit will also need to satisfy other conditions and out team can give you more details.
Our lawyers in South Africa can give you more details on each of these categories of temporary residence visas and their renewal.
If you are already living in the country under a visa for temporary stay, for example a study or work visa, or a visa for critical skills, our team can answer questions about permanent residence in South Africa. When you have been lawfully living in the country for at least five years based on a work permit, you can apply for a direct residence permit and our team can give you more details about your options.
Permanent residence for those who wish to immigrate to South Africa from USA
Obtaining permanent residence is a natural step for American citizens who have the purpose to relocate to South Africa based on one of the permits above.
Direct residence for American citizens is permitted under Section 25 of the Immigration Act (2022) and has the following conditions:
- The US national has been living in SA with a valid work permit for 5 years;
- He or she has received a permanent offer of employment, thus the decision to move to South Africa from USA;
- Regarding the position above, the employer has provided a certification that the job opening is valid and that it is to be filled by a foreign national with the US applicant’s qualifications;
- An American citizen who qualifies for direct residence is also able to have his/her spouse and minor children apply for permanent residence in RSA.
Permanent residence in South Africa is also possible in other situations, including for investors.
The investment needs to be confirmed by proper documentation and certified by a chartered accountant and, in most cases, the business needs to be established in a key business sector, for example, information and communication technology.
Our lawyers in South Africa can not only assist those who wish to open a business, they can also help the businessowner apply for special permits and licenses required for the industries above.
We also provide information about the laws and regulations imposed by various authorities, such as the South African Revenue Service.
We advise American citizens who wish to move to South Africa from USA to start the relocation process in advance and reach out to us as soon as they have any questions.
The following processing times can be expected at most of the Consular services for South Africa located in North America:
- 3-4 weeks for the temporary residence visas;
- 1 year for permanent residence applications;
- 5-10 business days for a visitor visa.
Our team can help you relocate to South Africa from USA. Contact us for more information and assistance for application.
We also assist other foreign nationals, not only US citizens who are interested in relocating to South Africa. Our agents can give you details on the available types of residence permits, their validity period, and the needed documents and will provide guidance for application based on nationality. For more information, please get in touch with our team of lawyers who can help you with immigration to South Africa.