Temporary Residence Categories
8. Retirement Visa
South Africa is a high sought-after travel destination and remains popular amount retirees who wish to have their main home or second or third homes in South Africa.
A retirement visa permits a leisure sojourn on a seasonal basis ie summer seasons or full-time i.e. four years generally for non-work-related activities in South Africa. It is a multiple entry visa which permits entries into South Africa as and when for the duration of the retirement visa.
The financial requirements are critical to the success in applying for a South African retirement visa and two types of ‘financial tests’ are envisaged in the adjudication process.
One of the ‘tests’ permits a foreign applicant who is able to show monthly income of a minimum of thirty-seven thousand rand as of financial right in the form of a pension, irrevocable annuity, or requirement account which would support him or herself indefinitely while in South Africa.
The other ‘test’ envisages the ‘net worth’ test which is defined in the Immigration Regulations as a “combination of assets that realizes R37,000 per month”. We would point out that none of the terms i.e. “assets” and “realizes” are defined further, and it is for this reason that it is important to contact us to ascertain how the Department considers these ‘tests’ before applying and facing disappointment.
A retirement visa is renewable in South Africa and new financial evidence would be required to show eligibility.
The option to add “work” is permissible but be sure to appreciate that the “work” option is looked at very conservatively and those applicants who appear to circumvent the working visa options will be refused.
The Department continues to work back-to-front on the adjudication and financial requirements, by not indicating a globular amount to retire on and instead indicates an ‘end’ amount per month, which continues to stifle eligible retirees and is illogical, which is contra the very purpose of the Act.