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South african permanent residence certificate

Your Rights as a South African Permanent Residency Holder

Everybody knows that being a South African permanent residency permit holder holds more benefits than being a temporary permit holder but only a few foreigners know the rights that permanent residence south Africa gives. This article would help you to know your right as a South Africa permanent residency permit holder.

In case you don’t know permanent residence permit South Africa is no more in the form of a stamp on your passport but as a certificate, which is issued ONCE by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). This certificate must be presented to the DHA whenever required to confirm your permanent residency.  That mean, once your South african permanent residence certificate is issued to you, you must safeguard it at all times.

I would suggest that you make certified copies of your PR permit and carry and carry a copy with you about while you keep the original in a safe place.

Your right as SA PR holder:

  • As a SA PR holder, you are entitled to almost all the rights and responsibilities of a South African citizen. However, you are not eligible to vote or be voted for in South African government elections. Also, you are not eligible to obtain a South African passport. To enjoy these two benefits, you must apply for South African citizenship.
  • After receiving your PR permit, you are required to apply for a South African Identity Card. The ID card would contain your “SA ID Number.” This is very important, especially if you intend to stay in South Africa permanently. Without the SA ID card and SA ID Number, you may not be eligible to apply for a cell phone or mobile phone contract, a bond, a car loan, a credit card, or open an account. You must apply for the SA ID card personally as your fingerprints would be captured during the exercise.
  • The essence of the PR permit is to grant you the opportunity to settle down permanently in South Africa. However, you may lose the permit if you leave SA for a period of 3yrs or more. The Department of Home Affairs is obliged to automatically withdraw your permit if you are away from SA for at least 3 years. You can prevent this from happening by giving prior notice to the DHA about your departure. You must also provide a tenable reason for your 3 years’ absence.
  • As a permanent residency holder, you are required by law to exchange your foreign driver’s license for a South African driver’s license. You can do this only at the nearest South African Traffic Department – No third-party agent is allowed to assist you in this matter. Note that exchanging your driver’s license must be done within 12 months from the issuance date of your PR permit. That is, if your PR issuance date was 01-11-2018, exchanging your driver’s license expires on 31-10-2019.
  • As a South Africa permanent residency permit holder, if you have been married for at least 5 years, your spouse is eligible to apply for a PR permit based on the Spousal category – married to a South African PR holder. However, your spouse can only apply for the PR permit if he or she has been granted a valid temporary residence permit.

Do you have any question or wants more information on South african permanent residence certificate? Please contact Else Mart on +27 (0) 61 578 0000 or email us at info@elsemart.com.



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