Work permit / visa requirements for South African immigration
Background to Work Permits / Visa for South African Immigration
South Africa offers a number of options for those who are seeking a Work Permit / Visa for the purposes of South African immigration.
Similar to other countries the Work Permit / Visa legislation focuses on two main areas:
- The protection of employment opportunities for South Africans
- The ability to recruit skilled foreign workers into skill shortage areas or fulfil corporate requirements.
In essence regulations around Work Permits / Visas have to provide a balance between making sure employers recruit local South Africans where possible, but allow them to recruit workers from abroad where they are unable to do this.
You can find out now if your eligible for a work permit and which one is your best option by requesting a call back here.
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Types of Work Permits / Visa
Broadly speaking there are two types of Work Permits / Visa
- There the applicant does not have a job offer.
- Where the applicant has a job offer
Where the applicant requires a work permit / visa and does not have a job offer:
- A quota work permit – This permit / visa focuses on the published skill shortage list and whether a persons occupation features on it. The skill shortage list contains occupations and professions, identified at a national level, where local South Africans are difficult to recruit to fulfil that specific role. In meeting the criteria for a quota work permit, the applicant will need to prove that they possess the required skills, education and experience as specified on the skills shortage list. This type of work permit / visa provides the individual with three months to secure a suitable position.
- An exceptional skills permit – This permit / visa is for individuals who have rare and / or unique skills, experience and education. Each case is judged on its merits but applicants need to provide substantial evidence of their exceptional skills in order to qualify for a permit / visa. This may include, but not be limited to, things such as: academic references, industry authorities support and published works.
If you do not have a job offer and want to find out whether you qualify for a work permit / visa then take our eligibility assessment now. It's free and takes only a few minutes to complete.
Where the applicant requires a work permit / visa and has a job offer
There exists three options for applying for immigration to South Africa via a work permit / visa where the applicant has a job offer:
- An Intra company transfer – Where the individual is being transferred from a branch of the company, based outside of South Africa, to a branch of the company within South Africa. This work permit / visa can also be applied for by individuals who are employees of sister
companies or companies with a shared interest. The permit / visa allows the employee to relocate to South Africa and undertake employment for a certain period of time and only for the specified employer.
- General work permit / visa - Where an individual does not meet the criteria of any of the above work permits or visas an application would have to made under the General
Work Permit / Visa category. According to the South African Immigration Act, the applicant for a General Work Permits / visa has to provide a conditional offer of employment from a South African based employer. In addition also documentation, confirming that the employer has fully endeavoured to employ South African citizens or residents. Learn more about the requirements for a work permit here.
Some Frequently asked questions on work permits / visas
Can I apply for Permanent Residency with a work permit / visa?
Obtaining permanent residency via the work permit / visa option inevitably means first having to not just get temporary residency but also maintain it for a 5 year period of time. The only exception to this rule is for those who qualify to apply for an the Exceptional skills permit / visa. Intra company transfer permits are not considered within this 5 year rule.
Can my family come with me?
Partners and dependants can accompany holders of work permits /visas. Please note partners are not allowed to study, work or run a business, they are simply allowed only to accompany and stay in South Africa. They may also not be included in permanent residency applications but may themselves apply at a later time dependent on their relationships with the permanent resident.
What about my children attending school?
Dependant children can attend a South African school but need to first obtain a study permit.
Where can I access more information on work permits / visas?
You can use any of the methods below to contact us.
Complete the online enquiry form
Request a call back
Alternatively why not subscribe to our newsletter or visit our frequently asked questions website to make sure you keep up to date on the requirements for South African work permits / visas.
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