Immigration South Africa Podcast April 2013

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This month we explain business permits for South Africa

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You can read the transcript of the April 2013 edition of the monthly Intergate Immigration podcast below.

Intergate Immigration Service – Podcast April 2013 Edition

Hi I am Claus Lauter from Intergate Immigration, and as always thanks for joining me on our monthly podcast.

In response to the many requests we have received the next few podcasts will focus on the individual permit types and we start today with the business permit.

Please keep the feedback coming it helps me to make sure that our podcasts are covering the areas you really want know about. As always please mail me on and don’t forget if you want to catch up with our old podcasts you can visit

So on to the business permit.

Lets have a look at who should and who can apply.

Firstly business permits are for those prospective immigrants who are looking to invest and work in their own business in South Africa. In other words a business that the applicant is going to be actively involved in.

Its worth spending a couple of minutes clarifying this as it is an area that can cause confusion.

Firstly – People can mistake a business permit with what other countries refer to as an investor permit – South Africa does not offer an investor permit. These investor permits normally simply require the applicant to invest a certain amount of money into a business – this is not the case in South Africa as you will hear later on.

Secondly – Please note that for existing companies, looking to set up their operations in South Africa, a business permit may not be the correct advice and they should seek further guidance from our corporate team of advisor’s on

Thirdly – Although in many cases the business is a start up this does not need to be the case. We process a great many permit applications for people investing into existing businesses.

So in summary it can be an existing or start up business that the applicant is going to be employed by and be working in it.

Business permits can be applied for on both a temporary and permanent basis. It is highly unlikely that a permanent business permit will be issued prior to being in possession of a temporary permit. The normal route is therefore to apply for both a temporary and permanent business permit at the same time (or very close together).

The temporary one will normally take in the region of 10 – 16 weeks to be processed and will normally be for a period of 5 years. Permanent residency applications can take up to 2 years and in extreme cases even longer.

When permanent residency is received, as long as the application has been compiled correctly, the spouse or life partner will also become permanent residents as well as any dependants included within the application. Until then applications would need to be made for the appropriate study permits or activities the spouse or life partner may wish to undertake.
Now lets have a look at the basic criteria for applying for a business permit:

A business entity will need to be established, this normally takes the form of a Pty Ltd but not always. This involves name searches and then completing the required registration documents.

South Africa requires you to make a minimum Investment amount into the book value of the business. This amount equates to an investment of at least R2.5 million within the first 2 years. Further, within the same 2 year period the business must employ 5 South Africans or permanent residency holders.

The applicant will also need to present a comprehensive business plan that demonstrates the business concept, its viability and the steps that are to be taken within the business to make it succesful. In addition to the business plan, where the investment is into an existing business, a shareholder agreement needs to be drawn up – even if it is a 100% purchase of the existing business.

Above the normal permit requirements the applicant will need to sign an undertaking to register with SARS and submit an appropriate chartered accountants certificate to prove the required investment amount exists.

Intergate have assisted hundreds of businesses since our inception in 2005, in fact it some of the areas we specialise in. Our service is all encompassing from advising you on the correct company format, developing the business plan through to a successful permit application. Our aim is simple let us take the stress of the permit away from you so you can focus on the most important thing – your business.

If you want to find out more information have a look at our website on intergate hypen or just type intergate immigration into google. Why your there why not try our online chat feature we have introduced – it puts you in touch with one of client managers instantly and at no cost or obligation – we even pay for the phone call.

As always a big thank you to the regular followers of our podcasts, we thank you for joining us again this month. For those newcomers welcome and we hope to see you become a regular.

Before I go I must tell you about our exciting podcast next month – we will be interviewing one of our client managers and learning first hand just how they help companies with their immigration needs.

Keeping with the Arnold theme “Hasta la vista, baby”