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Considering a move to South Africa? Here are the four best visa options

South Africa has long been home to millions of immigrants from around the world.

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The country’s pleasant climate, stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and relatively low cost of living continue to make South Africa a desirable destination for expats.

But as in many other countries, South Africa’s complex immigration rules and regulations can be daunting and they’re changing all the time. The South African visa application process isn’t easy and requires careful consideration and planning.

According to SA Visa Experts, there are four South African visa types that offer potential immigrants the simplest, most direct route for obtaining residency in the Rainbow Nation. In some cases, the best visas (and how to obtain them) may surprise you.

Potential South African visas include:

Critical Skills Visa

If your experience, education and/or career falls into a category South Africa deems as a Critical Skill, you may be eligible to apply for a Critical Skills Visa. These visas typically last 5 years and if you act fast upon receiving one, the Critical Skills visa can be converted into permanent residency in South Africa.

Critical Skills Visa tip: Those who obtain a university degree in a discipline that’s on the Critical Skills list, or who have completed their PhD in South Africa or abroad, are eligible for a Critical Skills Visa.

Retirement Visa

If you earn income coming from outside of South Africa, either through rental property income or another revenue source such as a trust fund, you may qualify for a Retirement Visa. Retirement Visa applicants must show the financial capacity to withdraw at least 37000 ZAR (approximately 2000 GBP) in income per month.

Retirement Visa tip: Although this visa specifically mentions “retirement”, there is no minimum age limit for this visa.

Study Visa

If you apply and are accepted into any recognized school, college or university – full-time or part-time – in South Africa and can show proof of admission, you may qualify for a Study Visa.

Study Visa tip: Those holding study visas in South Africa are allowed to work part-time, a maximum of 20 hours per week and not work during school holidays.

Spousal Visa

If you have been in a relationship with a South African for at least two years and you are able to provide proof of your relationship such as living arrangements, you may qualify to apply for a Spousal Visa allowing you to live, work and/or study in South Africa.

Spousal Visa tip: The South African in the relationship must provide a letter of financial undertaking and prove that he or she has sufficient funds to sponsor the couple, at least 8500 ZAR (approximately 450 GBP) per person.

SA Visa Experts is helping potential South African immigrants from around the world navigate the South African visa application process, guiding applicants in determining which visa to apply for, collecting and submitting documents, and providing essential advice from the beginning of the process to the end.

Contact them for more information on South African visas by emailing You may also take their free online assessment by clicking on this link.