Black Pen Immigration

How to Apply for a South African Retirement Visa

German & English-speaking immigration
company from assisting with visas
to finding employment
 
404 Equinox Building | 154 Main Road | Sea Point South Africa
Blackpen-immigration.com
[email protected]
BlackPen_Law
Black Pen Immigration and Recruitment

How to Apply for a South African Retirement Visa

Everything you need to know about applications for retired temporary and permanent residency in South Africa

Last Updated 9 March 2018 

The retiring abroad landscape has changed dramatically since the financial collapse of 2008. The traditional destinations of Spain, Greece, Cyprus, and Portugal have all seen economic issues, and in some cases, the uncertainty around these countries’ banking industries and subsequent fiscal reforms have threatened expats’ savings.

South Africa, on the other hand, continues to offer potential retirees the high-quality lifestyle, value for money and climate that they’re looking for, and thus it comes as no surprise that there’s been an increase in the number of retirees settling here.

"The main attractions are the fact that money goes much further in South Africa and that there’s already a large expat community,” explains Black Pen Immigration founder and CEO, whose immigration company is based in Sea Point. 

While the idea of living out your twilight years in South Africa is certainly appealing, the emigration process can prove complicated and foreboding, especially in light of the 2014 immigration regulation changes.

Accordingly, Black Pen has helped many get their retirement visas successfully.

To help any prospective retirees with some of the key questions and concerns around retired permits for South Africa, we have asked Black Pen to provide answers to some of the most common retirement queries. Remember though, if the information below isn’t enough to help you lodge your application individually, the immigration company is happy to aid you in the process (contact them directly with queries).

FAQS ABOUT SOUTH AFRICAN RETIREMENT VISA APPLICATIONS 

1. What are the permit options available to people wishing to retire in South Africa?

Retirees can take two routes when considering what application to make for retiring in South Africa:

  • A retired permit: which can be made on a temporary or permanent residency basis.
  • An independent financial persons permit: this is for permanent residency only.

2. What are the main criteria for being able to qualify for a retired permit in South Africa?

Retired permits or independent financial person permits focus on the applicant’s ability to be able to support themselves financially.

  • 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 R444,000 per annum (R1,776,000 for the full four year eligibility) or a combination of both. It is valid for up to four years.
  • A retired permit application on a permanent basis 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 it.
  • A financially independent permit requires the applicant to have a net worth of R12 million, 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.

3. Are there any age restrictions on the permit options for retired people?

None at all. South Africa is retirees friendly, and there are no maximum or minimum age requirements.

4. What if I only want to stay six months per year in South Africa – do I really need a permit?

Many individuals staying in South Africa have traditionally entered on tourist visas for the first three months and then extended their tourist visa by another three months in order to stay six months in total. This can be a risky strategy, as tourist visas are meant for those coming to South Africa on holiday, not as a second home destination. Furthermore, the 2014 immigration regulation changes have made the extension process slightly more tedious.

5. Are there any tax implications surrounding residency in South Africa?

To a large extent, the type of permit you hold is not the main contributor to your tax status. South Africa operates on a worldwide taxation system that is residency based – in layman’s terms, this means it looks at whether this is your permanent home and how many days you spend in South Africa. Previously, "swallows" might have flown under the tax radar, but recent tax changes, including the fact that all homeowners must now be tax registered, have negated this.

South Africa is, however, retiree tax friendly. It has in place numerous double taxation agreements, no tax on foreign sourced pensions schemes and a very low capital gains tax rate (which is great for those with capital).

6. Apart from the financial criteria, what else must be presented with a South African retirement visa application?

When applying for a retired permit there is a number of standard items, which include:

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

7. Where can I apply for a retirement visa or permit and how long is the processing time?

You can apply for a retirement visa or permit in your country of origin, residence or in South Africa. If you apply 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.

There are two points worth noting here: 

TEMPORARY RESIDENCE VISAS

PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMITS

Applications submitted abroad tend to be processed in eight weeks.

Applications submitted abroad tend to be processed in 18 – 24 months.

Applications submitted in South Africa are reported to be processed by VFS in 4 – 6 weeks. 

Applications submitted in South African tend to be processed in 18 – 24 months.

NOTE: It is not possible to apply for a retirement visa or permit in South Africa if you have entered the country on a visitor’s visa. In this case, you must return to your country of origin or residence to apply for a retirement visa or permit.

---

Interested in living in South Africa, but not eligible to apply based on a retirement basis? Read more about applying for general permanent residence in South Africa.

---

Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn and check out our Pinterest boards for updates.

Cape Town Events Calendar
June 2018
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Nasdak 9Warmth Meets Panoramic Views: Media 24 ...

With free parking from 3:30pm and 360-degree views all night, skip the traffic to enjoy ...

boston chorusThis Is Why You Don’t Want To Miss ...

Celebrate all things pride with Broadway hits, pop classics and African folk songs

Significant Other Fugard Theatre 5Broadway Show ‘Significant Other’ ...

Fresh off Broadway and into one of Cape Town’s most favourite theatres, this show about ...

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Arabella Aerial ViewWhich of These 5 Arabella Stay, Play ...

One luxury spa day and four remarkable getaway experience deals to reward yourself with, ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Kiff Kombi - Durbanville - 1Experience Cape Town's Most Spirited ...

All aboard, gin lovers! Here’s what to expect on a tour of Cape Town’s quaintest, ...

Cartel House 10Grab Yourself Free Flapjacks Every ...

Members only: Luxury co-working office space Cartel House serves up hot and fresh ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointSkip The Traffic: Hit Free Motown ...

Let’s everybody hit the deck – Goodhope FM DJ Ashton Abels brings the Motown tunes ...

Just Like Papa 4Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Cape Town Helicopters Generic 2Fly Fridays: Get on Board With The Most ...

Want that extra-special experience to round off the week? These are the city’s most ...

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

African Soul Surfer BackpackersYoga and Surf Specials with African ...

Ride the wave of surf and yoga camps with African Soul Surfer!

Sgt pepper live musicRam Jam Rock Parties at Sgt Pepper

The head-banging, guitar twanging rockin’ good times are back

Aces 'n' SpadesFriday Night Live at Aces ‘n’ Spades

They will rock you

Food Truck Friday - 1Food Truck Friday at Jack Black’s ...

Relax this Friday with a Jack Black beer and some scrumptious food

Pierneef food and wine pairing 3Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek estate

African Soul Surfer BackpackersSurf Lessons with African Soul Surfer

Learn to surf with the kiffest surf school in Cape Town!

Cloud 9 Hotel 3Spa and Sparkling Wine Special at ...

Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping in Hout ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.