Abstract A review of South African literature on crime confirms the lack of a study that considers the impact of migration on the crime rate in the country. The high levels of crime in South Africa aside, additional motivation behind the study has been the increasing rhetoric in media and by politicians insinuating the prominent role of foreign immigrants in the high crime levels of the country. While this is the first attempt to study this relationship in the South African context, it also stands apart from existing studies undertaken in the developed countries by accounting for both internal migrants as well as foreign immigrants. Further, the study claims the use of multi-level regression estimations as an improvement from the existing studies on the issue by accounting for variance clustering across different spatial levels. In all the estimated models, internal migrant ratio came out as being positively and significantly related to crime rates across five different crime categories, with the sole exception of sexual crime rate. There was no evidence of foreign immigrant ratio impacting on crime rate in any of the crimes analysed except crime relating to property. Further, income inequality and sex ratio figure as determining factors across most types of crime in South Africa.