The Immigration Act provides for 11 specific permanent residence categories. These are:
- A demonstration of having been in possession of work visas (besides intra-company transfer work visas) for the past five years, without any gaps of time, with a permanent job offer secured in South Africa.
- On the basis of a spousal relationship which is at least five years old, whether by way of marriage or life-partnership.
- For a child under the age of 21 of a citizen or permanent resident.
- A child of any age of a citizen.
- On the basis of a demonstration that the foreigner has one of the critical skills enumerated on the Critical Skills List published in the Government Gazette on 4 June 2014, with at least five years of post-qualification experience (not necessarily related to the critical skills).
- On the basis of an intended investment or investment in a business enterprise or prospective business enterprise of no less than R5 million, or a lesser amount as agreed by the DHA should the business enterprise fall within one of the prescribed National Interest sectors of the South African economy.
- On the basis that a foreigner with refugee status in South Africa for at least the past five years obtains a certification from the Refugee Standing Committee that he or she will remain a refugee indefinitely.
- On the basis of pensions or irrevocable annuities for the rest of his or her life, or on the basis of assets realizing to the foreigner, no less than R37,000.00 per month.
- On the basis that the foreigner has a net worth no less than R12 million and pays to the DHA an amount of R120,000.00 upon the approval of the application.