The FDFA provides information only on a periodic basis and does not guarantee the accuracy or comprehensiveness of the information provided. Article 5 of the Swiss Abroad Act stipulates that every individual shall exercise personal responsibility when planning or undertaking a stay abroad or when working abroad.

The picture shows a panoramic view of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
Panoramic picture of Table Mountain in Cape Town. © Unsplash

South Africa's immigration laws distinguish between three types of entry/immigration in the main:

  • permission to stay as a visitor (visitor's permit)
  • resident (either temporary or permanent residence permit)

Applications for permanent residence in South Africa are assessed under section 26 (direct residence) and section 27 (permanent residence granted on other grounds) of the 2002 Immigration Act (Act no. 13 of 2002) in conjunction with Regulation 33 of the Immigration Regulations. Decisions on permanent residence focus on the applicant's capacity to make a significant contribution to the development of the South African economy.

Applications for permanent residence can only be made after the home affairs minister has declared that the applicant is neither a prohibited nor an undesirable person. Once the minister issues a positive declaration, the foreign national may apply for direct residence or for residence on other grounds.

Persons wishing to spend their retirement in South Africa may apply for a retired person permit if they receive at least ZAR 37,000 per month from a pension fund or an irrevocable annuity or retirement account, or if they have net assets or a combination of assets amounting to a minimum monthly income of ZAR 37,000. 

Visa for South Africa


Registration with the Swiss representation abroad 


Swiss nationals who are relocating abroad must register with the competent Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) abroad. They must do so within 90 days of the date on which they deregistered from their last commune of residence in Switzerland. You can register directly at the representation or via the online desk. To register as a Swiss citizen abroad, you need a valid passport (or a valid ID), a deregistration certificate and, if you have one, a certificate of origin.


Registration is free of charge. Registering will enable the Swiss authorities to contact you in an emergency and facilitate speedier processing of administrative matters such as issuing an identity or civil status document. Registering is also a good way to stay in touch with Switzerland. Swiss citizens who are registered with a Swiss representation abroad receive the Swiss Review – the magazine for the Swiss community abroad – free of charge. If you are over 18, you can also register to vote on initiatives and in referendums and elections in Switzerland.

Vaccination and health

The Healthy Travel website provides vaccination recommendations and up-to-date information on infectious diseases. Please check vaccination recommendations before you travel.


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