Permanent residence (“PR”) is mutually exclusive to temporary residence. You cannot be a temporary and permanent resident at the same time. Once you get PR you are no longer required to hold a temporary residence in South Africa.
PR affords such foreign applicant the right to remain in South Africa indefinitely and enjoy the same rights, privileges and obligations as a South African citizen except enjoying the right to a South Africa Passport and accompanying right to vote. A South African passport is only applicable to those foreign PR holders who have successfully naturalized as South African citizens.
A PR holder will be expected to hold a South African Identity Document in terms of the Identification Act as a legal requirement. Immigration officers at our ports of entry frequently ask for the presentation of such Identity document and in the absence thereof seek to admonish such PR holder. There is technically no sanction under the Act but only under the Identification Act.
PR holders enjoy full rights to conduct or pursue any legal activity in South Africa regardless of the category of PR held i.e. regardless of what PR the holder applied for successfully he or she will be entitled to perform any work, run any business, or sojourn as he or she so pleases subject, of course, to any specific conditions that may be attached to such PR.
PR is catered for in the Act in terms of sections 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Act, read with the relevant provisions in terms of the 2014 Immigration Regulations.
PR may be applied for in South Africa provided such foreign applicant is the holder of a “valid visa for temporary sojourn” in South Africa per Regulation 23(2)(k) of the 2014 Immigration Regulations. If not, he or she can apply at the nearest South African Mission.
Note: It is our view that that a foreign applicant can apply for PR whilst on a valid visitor’s visa or that of an ICT visa as both are “valid visas” allowing for a “temporary sojourn” yet the Department attempts to overreach its powers.
Note: PR adjudication may take up to two or three years to be issued, which is unlawful and an unreasonable delay. We are engaged on a frequent basis to expedite such pending PR applications as the law recognises that eight months is a reasonable time to adjudicate PR applications.
We proceed to court and successfully expedite or finalise the pending PR on or after eight months of submission.