The Business Visa (Visitor’s Visa with Work Endorsement)
The Business Visa (not to be mistaken with a Business Permit) is also commonly referred to as a "visitor’s visa with work endorsement". This endorsement is added to the "normal" tourist/visitor’s visa provided that the applicant fulfils certain requirements.
The South African Immigration legislation makes provisions for a visa which allows the holder to conduct business activities within the Republic for a period of 3 months (extendable by a further 3 months)*.
Section 11(2) of the South African immigration Act states that "The holder of a visitor’s permit may not conduct work, unless authorised by the Director General [...]". This additional authorisation turns a normal visitor’s visa into a "Business Visa".
The documentation required for a Business Visa application is straight forward and essentially easy to obtain, provided that the individual’s circumstances are suited for such an application. There will be certain documentation required from the overseas employer as well as the company in South Africa which has either invited or is hosting the individual.
The nature of the business activities can vary. It is important, however, to show to the Department of Home Affairs that the individual will not be paid a salary by the host company in South Africa while he/she is in the country, but will continue to be paid by his/her overseas employer.
* The Business Visa is designed for individuals who intend on staying in South Africa on a short term basis while they attend/hold conferences, provide training or conduct consultancy work for example. Should the business visa be obtained at the airport upon entry** or at the South African embassy in the applicant’s country of original, the visa can subsequently be extended by 3 months at the Department of Home Affairs within South Africa.
Business visa's may no longer be extended.
NB: A Business Visa is only available from a South African embassy or at the port of entry into South Africa. Should a foreign national enter South Africa and receive a tourist visa only at the airport or border, a Business Visa cannot be obtained at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa! It is thus essential to make the necessary arrangements before the candidate arrives in South Africa.
It is vital to make these arrangements as Section 38(1)(b) of the Immigration Act states that "no person shall employ a foreigner whose status does not authorise him or her to be employed by such person".
Should Home Affairs identify a candidate who is working for a South African company without having a work permit or Business Visa, the company will be fined R20,000 per candidate working illegally, and the company will become black-listed at Home Affairs. The candidate themselves could potentially become V-listed, which would result in the candidate being refused entry into South Africa in future. It is virtually impossible to have a candidate removed from the V-list.
Lastly, it is important to remember that this Business Visa or endorsement to conduct (unpaid) work is not a Work Permit. The limitations of the Business Visa are comparable with those of a tourist visa except that the individual may conduct (unpaid) work. Aside from this the candidate will be considered a tourist and visitor to South Africa.
Contact us using the links below:
Request for a call back
Email us your questions