9 Questions answered about emigration to South Africa

emigration to south africaIt’s safe to say that you’re dreaming about emigration to South Africa if you’re reading this.

The next thing we’ll assume is that you have a million questions. It’s to be expected!

And that’s why we’ve put together nine of the most commonly asked questions people just like you have:

  • What do I do if I want to work in South Africa?
  • Can I study in South Africa?
  • How do I start a business in South Africa?
  • How do I know if I qualify for a visa?
  • Can my significant other and children join me?
  • Can I bring my pets?
  • How long will it take to process my application?
  • How much does an application cost?
  • Who can help me with my application?

Let’s get straight to the answers:

1. What do I do if I want to work in South Africa?

You’d need a work visa to work in South Africa for an employer. This means you have to qualify for and receive one of South Africa’s four work visas.

2. Can I study in South Africa?

Yes, you can but, once again, you’d have to have the correct visa. If you’d like to study full-time to further your tertiary education, you’ll need a study visa. You’ll also be allowed to study part-time if you hold any of the following visas:

  • Critical skills work visa.
  • General work visa.
  • Intra-company transfer work visa.
  • Business visa.

3. How do I start a business in South Africa?

You’d need a business visa to start a business in South Africa of which the main criteria are:

  • An investment of at least R5 million.
  • An undertaking to employ a minimum of 60% South Africans.
  • A business plan.

4. How do I know if I qualify for a visa?

The best way to find out would be to get an immigration consultant with in-depth knowledge of South African immigration law, coupled with extensive experience in the industry, to assess your situation.

5. Can my significant other and children join me?

Yes, your family are allowed to join you. A spouse or life partner and minor dependents may apply under the accompanying visa category based on their relationship with you.

Please note that this is not a guaranteed visa. Your significant other and children would still need to meet the respective visa requirements for emigration to South Africa.

6. Can I bring my pets?

Yes, you may bring your cat or dog to South Africa. However, you’ll need a veterinary import permit and your pet must be microchipped. This is non negotiable. Dogs and cats from certain parts of the world must also have had a valid rabies vaccination.

Read more about bringing pets into South Africa here.

7. How long will it take to process my application?

The Department of Home Affairs is notorious for being unpredictable, so unfortunately we cannot tell you. The best advice we have for you is to prepare for the worst case scenario in each instance.

8. How much does an application cost?

If you do a visa application on your own, the main costs would be the VFS and visa application fees. Should you choose to enlist the services of an immigration agent, their fees would be added to these costs.

Other costs to take into consideration include but are not limited to:

  • Postage costs.
  • Police clearance certificate fee.
  • SAQA fee, where applicable.
  • Medical examination.
  • Translation and document certification fees.
  • Professional body registration fees.

9. Who can help me with my application?

Immigration consultants in countries such as New Zealand and Australia must be licensed in order to do so. There is no such rule in South Africa, so technically anyone can give you advice on emigration to South Africa.

But you shouldn’t.

You could be talking to someone with little knowledge on South African immigration or a conman. In either case, you stand to lose a lot of money and miss out on your dream of coming to South Africa.

Only deal with a company or agent who:

  • Has a proven track record;
  • Can prove that their immigration knowledge is up to date;
  • Has tried and tested processes in place;
  • Is recognised by the industry;
  • Affiliated with instutions in the industry; and
  • Ideally have ISO certification.

Any other questions about emigration to South Africa? Ask us!

It would be impossible to answer all your questions in one article, so please feel free to call us if you still have questions.

You can reach us on:

  • Cape Town: +27 (0) 21 424 2460; or
  • Johannesburg: + 27 (0) 11 234 4275

The alternative is to get us to call you. Just request a call back and one of our consultants will contact you within 24 hours. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we can help you!

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