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Who is applying for South African Visas and Why

The newest figures, published by Statistics South Africa, demonstrated that nearly 110 000 of all visa applicants were granted residence permits.

Who Is Applying For South African Visas And Why

The report showed that Zimbabweans in particular are hoping to improve their and their families’ quality of life with a third of all the permanent resident permits issued to them. Zimbabweans were also the recipients of 19% of the temporary residence permits. These permits were issued under the Zimbabwean Special Permit project.

Statistics showed that Nigeria, India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho and Angola are, with Zimbabwe, the top 10 countries from which people were granted South African residence permits.

Most of these newcomers only get temporary residence visas. In fact, only 6% of all the permits issued (6 801) were permanent.

Nearly half (48%) of the people issued permanent residence permits were between the ages of 30 and 44 years. Ninety percent of them were granted work permits or relative’s permits.

To get a relative’s permit a foreigner must have an immediate family member who is a South African citizen or a permanent resident who is willing and able to support that person financially during his or her stay.

There are a number of types of temporary residence permits available, but 80% of those issued were visitor's, work or relative's permits.

Mostly people from African countries applied to re-join family members in South Africa with 56% of granted visas being issued as relatives’ visas while 53% were granted to tourists visiting the country for less than 3 months.

In terms of work permits, Asian nationals overtook applicants from African countries by 12% with 45% of all work visas being issued to people from the Asian continent.
The same statistics also showed that just 374 permanent residence permits issued to people who applied for refugee status. That’s 5.5% of the total number granted.

Interestingly is seems that South Africa’s beautiful scenery and mild weather was a favourite with European retirees. German nationals, in particular, wanted to retire in sunny South Africa while British citizens also wanted to escape the dreary English weather. This is demonstrated by the fact that 80% of the people granted permanent residence permits for retired people came from Europe. Half of the permits issued went to nationals from the United Kingdom and Germany. The total rises to 80% if all the other European nationals are included.

South Africa has always been a favourite amongst students, especially those from countries north of the Republic’s borders. As many as 80% of all study permits were issued to students from African. Half of them are from Southern African Development Community countries.

It is also no secret that South Africa is home to the best medical care facilities on the continent and as such attracts close to 1 500 applicants from medical visas every year. Most of these applications originate from African countries with 33% of medical permits granted to Angolans, closely followed by citizens of the DRC and Nigeria.

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