The short answer
You can apply for permanent residence on other grounds, like business. The process is described below.
The whole question
I want to know how to apply for a business permit or permanent residence, and to register my business, if possible.
The long answer
Business permits fall under Section 27(C) of the Immigration Act and are generally issued for up to three years and are renewable. A person holding a business visa can also apply for permanent residence on the same basis. Family members can apply together with the main applicant.
You will have to renew your temporary resident visa while waiting for the outcome of your application for a permanent residence permit. Before you apply, you will have to write to the Minister of Home Affairs motivating why you should not be considered a prohibited or undesirable person. Only when you receive a positive response from the Minister can you apply for permanent residence or residency on other grounds permit i.e. business, under Section 27(C).
You could be considered a prohibited person if you had an infectious disease; a warrant of arrest against you; a conviction for genocide, torture, kidnapping, terrorism, murder, drug-trafficking in South Africa or any country that has diplomatic relations with South Africa; belong to a terrorist organisation; or if you have previously been deported and have not been rehabilitated by Home Affairs in the prescribed way.
You could be considered an undesirable person if you are likely to become a charge on the public purse, have been declared incompetent by a court, or are an unrehabilitated insolvent or a fugitive from justice.
This is the list of documents required to apply for a business permit or permanent residence as stated by Home Affairs:
VFS appointment letter.
A duly completed DHA-947 form online. Handwritten forms will not be accepted by the Department of Home Affairs.
Payment of the application fee of R2,870. If the application fee was paid to the VFS bank account or the mission, an original bank payment receipt where the application fee was paid using Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). A receipt for each applicant is required.
Present a valid original passport in respect of each applicant and passport photograph for all applicants one year of age and older. A recent, passport-type, full face photograph bearing the names of the applicants on the reverse side thereof. (Machine-type or instant photographs are not acceptable).
A valid business visa for temporary sojourn at the time of application in respect of each applicant, if the application is made in the Republic.
Unabridged birth certificate, or extract from birth record for applicant(s).
South African police clearance will be validated upon biometric enrolment at the VFS center effective as of 01 October 2016 at a fee of R175 (Inclusive of Vat) per applicant.
Radiological report (not required in respect of children under the age of 12 years or a pregnant woman). The certificate must not be older than six (6) months at the time the applicant submits an application.
Medical report for all applicants. The certificate must not be older than six (6) months at the time the applicant submits an application.
A letter of recommendation from the Department of Trade and Industry regarding the feasibility of the business and the contribution to the national interest of the Republic.
An undertaking that at least 60% of the total staff compliment to be employed in the operations of the business shall be citizens or permanent residents employed permanently in various positions.
An undertaking to register with the South African Revenue Services.
An undertaking to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
An Undertaking to register with the Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases.
An Undertaking to register with the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), where legally required.
Proof of registration with the relevant professional body, board or council recognised by South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in terms of section 13(2)(i) of the National Qualifications Framework Act, where applicable
Home Affairs also states that the following financial commitment must be made:
A certificate issued by a chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) or a professional accountant registered with the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) to the effect that at least an amount in cash of R5 million as determined from time to time by the Minister, after consultation with the Minister of Trade and Industry, by notice in the Gazette, is available; or
An amount of R5 million in cash and capital as determined from time to time by the Minister, after consultation with the Minister of Trade and Industry, by notice in the Gazette, is available to be invested in the republic.
However, if your business cannot afford R5 million and is considered to be in the national interest, you can apply for a capital waiver. That would mean a reduction in the amount of money required.
SA Migration International has published an extensive list of all the businesses considered desirable at samigration.com/blog/category/business-permit/
The businesses considered undesirable are importing second-hand cars to export once more, exotic sex shows and the security business.
The Western Cape local government says: “Your local municipality handles business licences and you can contact them for details on licensing procedures and the various health and safety regulations required for different kinds of business.”
This is likely to be the case with all municipalities.
Wishing you the best,
Answered on Jan. 15, 2021, 1 p.m.
Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.