You decided to apply for your Permanent Residency Permit in South Africa. You met all the requirements and submitted your application to the Department of Home Affairs. Since then you have been in the dark regarding the outcome of your application, where in the process it is and whether it will be successful or not? Months and sometimes years go by waiting for an outcome.

When is your application overdue?

Depending on the category of submission, a Permanent Residence application, in our experience, take on average 4 – 8 months to be processed, from the date of submission.  Where your application has been pending for a longer period, you may petition your application and request for the outcome to be finalised as a matter of urgency.

Possible reasons for overdue Permanent Residency Application

The delays in the processing of Permanent Residency applications is well known, especially those involving dependant family members including an effective freeze on spousal Permanent Residency applications. Certain categories are however prioritised and as such there should be no delay on receiving quick turnaround times in these instances.

There are many foreigners who have fallen foul of immigration malpractice by unscrupulous advisors, as the advisor is in a position of trust. One scheme is where a residence category is advised which is well known will cause considerable delays or will never be issued. Payment is charged upfront. Then additional payments are demanded or the ‘ball is kicked down the road’ when you enquire on your application status, with the Department of Home Affairs unfairly blamed. Often this comes with the promise of special contacts or forever a great excuse why there are no results.

There are formal processes in place to determine your status and see whether what has been advised is the truth. Where you have a feeling something is not right, your instincts are normally correct.

An approach of prudence and urgency is to be encouraged to avoid later disruptions.

Your Permanent Residency permit overdue! What to do next?

The Immigration Act is clear in its preamble that both Temporary and Permanent Residence Permits must be issued as expeditiously as possible. This therefore allows for a formal petition process where applications are long pending.

If your Permanent Residence Permit application has been pending for a long time, a process can be followed to request for it to be finalised and an outcome issued.

We regularly assist with securing Permanent Residency where others have failed, due to our approach of a petitioning process.

Next steps

Should you have any need to engage experts with following up on your application, we would be most grateful for the opportunity to present our capabilities to you and address any challenges you may be facing.