Know your rights as a Permanent Resident in South Africa
January 5, 2016
On issuing your permanent residency certificate, the Department of Home Affairs based your application on a specific category.
Your Permanent Residency (PR) is no longer in the form of a stamp in your passport and is issued by the Department of Home Affairs as a certificate. The Department requires that you present your PR certificate when requested to confirm your permanent residency. Please do note that this certificate is only issued once, thus must be safe-guarded at all times. We suggest keeping the original in a safe. We therefore suggest that you make certified copies and carry a certified copy with you.
Some information on Permanent Residency:
As a permanent resident, you have most of the rights and responsibilities of a South African citizen. You will not be able to obtain a South African passport nor be able to vote in South African government elections. These rights are only obtained with South African citizenship applications
After receiving your permanent residence certificate, you are obliged to apply for a SA Identity Card. This ID card states your SA ID-Number and is important if you intend to reside in SA permanently. Without an ID card and ID-Number, you may not be able to apply for a credit card, a car loan, a bond, a mobile or cell phone contract or open an account i.e clothing account.
It is important to remember that permanent residence status is granted for the purpose of settling permanently in SA. Now that you have obtained this status, should you leave South Africa for a period of 3 years or longer, the Department of Home Affairs may withdraw your status. This can be prevented if you inform the Department of Home Affairs of your departure timeously and provide an acceptable reason for your absence ie being transferred for work purposes etc
By law, as a permanent resident, you are required to exchange your foreign drivers' license for a South African drivers license. This may be done at the nearest SA Traffic Department and can only be done by the Permanent residency holder. No third parties are able to assist with this matter. Please note that this must be done within 12 months from the issuance date of your certificate (issuance date: 01-10-2016 expiry date: 30-09-2017).
As a permanent resident and married for 5 years or longer, a spouse will qualify to apply for permanent residency based on the Spousal category (married to a SA permanent residency holder). He/She may only submit the PR application to the Department once she has received her valid temporary residency visa.
Please contact Crown Relocations – Tel (011) 764 6144 or Email : firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on questions on PR Residency or applying for an ID book /card. Please note that this must be done by the applicant personally as fingerprints are required to be taken.