5 steps to write a Letter of Motivation for a South African Permanent Residence permit

Permanent Residence Permit - South Africa

English  |  Español  |  Deutsch

If you currently have a Critical Skills visa and want to obtain a Permanent Residence permit to live in South Africa, you should already know that one of the requirements is to write a letter of motivation.

In this post I’ll explain to you how to write a convincing letter, will give you a template that indicates the parts to structure it and will give you an example so you have a better idea and create your astounding letter.


  1. Understand the task
  2. Reuse an old Cover Letter
  3. Follow the structure
  4. Highlight your skills related to the SAQA qualification description
  5. Follow best practices

If you are considering to move to South Africa with a Critical Skills visa and then apply for a Permanent Residence I will recommend you to read the following successful cases obtaining those documents:

1. Understand the task

On the South African Department of Home Affairs official website, you can find the complete list of documents required to process your Permanent Residence permit with a Critical Skills Visa. One of the documents is the next one:

“A letter of motivation indicating the critical skills possessed by the applicant will be to the benefit of the South African environment in which he/she intends to operate and which relates to the critical skill in question”

In other words, the Department of Home Affairs wants you to explain how will your critical skill benefit South Africa – as simple as that. But yeah I can understand you may be thinking, how can I start?

Waterfront - Cape Town - South Africa
Silo District, Cape Town

2. Reuse an old Cover Letter

Now that we have understood the task, we can see that writing a Letter of Motivation to obtain a Permanent Residence permit is very similar to a Cover Letter to obtain a job position.

But in this case, instead of convincing the employer that you are the best candidate to make the company grow, you are convincing the government of South Africa that you are the best candidate to make the country grow.

So my advice is that if your Critical Skill is related to a former job position that you have had in the past and you previously wrote a Cover Letter for that job; you can reuse it or at least copy-paste some parts of it.

Also, keep in mind that another document required by the Department of Home affairs is a “comprehensive curriculum vitae” so this letter will allow you to cover qualifications you can’t fully explain in your curriculum.

Mont Rochelle - Franshhoek - South Africa
Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek

3. Follow the structure

You can follow the next structure to write your letter of motivation. However, feel free to make any changes according to what you consider is more important.

a. Opening

  • Date
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • To Whom It May Concern,

b. Reason for writing

  • I am writing to express my interest in obtaining a Permanent Residence permit to live in South Africa…

c. Introducing yourself

  • I graduated from ABC University with a Degree/Master’s Degree in…
  • You can see from my curriculum that I worked at AA and BB companies and gained experience in…
  • At present, I am working for CC company … where I am responsible for…

d. How will you benefit South Africa

  • I know from the current situation in South Africa that there are not a lot of skilled people with knowledge on my Critical Skill…
  • But I am an efficient and enthusiastic worker and currently, I provide a lot of value to my company by…
  • My current company does A, B, and C which are fundamental to help this country grow…

e. Closing and signature

  • Thank you for taking the time to consider my application
  • Yours Faithfully
  • Name and signature
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Cape Town

4. Highlight your skills related to the SAQA qualification description

In the official website of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) there is a description of the tasks performed by a person holding a specific qualification. You can read it to make sure you mention all the tasks that you can do.

  1. Enter the SAQA website HERE.
  2. Click on “Search for a qualification”.
  3. Enter the name of your qualification on the last field “Word Search”
  4. Click “Go”.
  5. Read the description and write something in accordance.

For example, you can read HERE the description for a person holding a qualification in Business Analysis.

Oyster Box Hotel pool - Durban - South Africa
Lighthouse, Umhlanga

5. Follow best practices

Describe how will you benefit the country

Describe your abilities in terms of how your experiences will benefit not only the organization in which you are going to work but the whole country.

Do your research about South Africa

Include evidence that you have you’re your research and know the country’s needs and current situation.

Stick to one page

Remember that your whole application is comprised of a lot of documents and the Home Affairs officers don’t have a lot of time to read each Letter of Motivation.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve - Cape Town - South Africa
Grootbos Nature Reserve, Gansbaai

Example of a letter of a Business Analyst

January 1, 2090

Department of Home Affairs

Republic of South Africa

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to express my interest in obtaining a Permanent Residence permit to live in South Africa. After getting to know the culture, traditions, and people of this country I want to live here and see this country grow and prosper. My goal is to use my skills as a Business Analyst to help the financial sector flourish.

I graduated from ABC University with a degree in Finance and you can see in my curriculum that I worked at DEF Bank in New York and GHI Consulting Firm in Miami. Therefore, I have vast work experience in financial analysis and system implementation.

At present, I am working at JKL Bank in Johannesburg where I am responsible for the implementation of a new system that simplifies the data collection of new SMEs looking for loans and analyses it to generate insights that will help the bank on the selection and monitoring of clients. I am implementing a system that I used to operate before at DEF Bank in New York. Currently, I’m the only one in the company who possess this knowledge.

Fortunately, the implementation of this system increases the cases of SMEs obtaining loans and succeeding; and after analyzing the key economic indicators of South Africa I found out that the SMEs contribute to approximately AA% of the GDP. I strongly believe that supporting this sector has a lot of potential to drive the economy’s growth.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.

Yours Faithfully,

J. Smith


John Smith

Good luck, if you have any questions, leave a comment below!

You may also be interested:

Experience obtaining a Permanent Residence permit

Don’t forget that you can also read a whole experience obtaining a Permanent Residence permit to live in South Africa on the blog:

Experience obtaining a Critical Skilla visa

You can also read a succesfull experience obtaining a Critical Skills Visa to live in South Africa on the blog:

In the Work Abroad section, you can find more experiences earning internships and full-time job positions abroad! If you had a similar experience and want to inspire others to apply please send an email to pilar.noriega@thelifestylehunter.com

Did you like this post? Pin it! <3

Visa South Africa - Permanent Residence Permit - Letter of Motivation

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or Bloglovin and get notified of my newest posts and updates!



  1. Gav
    13/05/2024 / 8:21 PM

    Hi I just wanted to know, would I need a document if I’m a South African citizen from birth and I left South Africa at the age of 5 ,
    Now I’m 21 and I want to move back!
    Can you give some advice
    Thank you🙏🙏

  2. Ellen
    20/04/2023 / 8:48 AM

    Thank u go for your advise

  3. Nthabiseng Nonyane
    31/08/2022 / 9:26 AM

    Hi can I have a cover letter for spousal permanent residence in South Africa.

    • 22/09/2022 / 6:08 AM

      Hi Ntabiseng, for professional CV/resume, cover letters and motivational letters, whatsapp me 0n 069 4 38 9831

  4. Christel
    07/07/2022 / 3:18 AM

    Thank you for wonderful insightful information. I am in the process of assisting a gardener, landscaper that does tremendous work for the community and our company, to obtain a work visa. Could you kindly assist me with guidance towards his motivational letter. It will be upmost appreciated.

    • 22/09/2022 / 6:11 AM

      Hi Christel, if you haven’t come alright I can assist. Whatsapp 0n 069 438 9831

  5. Kahungwa wa Musanyange
    24/11/2021 / 4:41 AM

    I am a lecturer and have been teaching at a TVET College for 5 Years, I lecture English and Life Skills and other subjects like Maths Literacy.
    Can I apply for PR and do I qualify?

  6. Chris
    19/02/2021 / 6:56 AM

    Hi can I please have a cover letter for spousal permanent residence in South Africa


  7. Nurea
    27/07/2020 / 4:33 AM

    Could you please give me an example of letter of a Physician.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *