Podcast: Corporate Immigration South Africa

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This month we interview our corporate client manager Pia Henseler.

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You can read the transcript of our interview with Pia below.

Intergate Immigration Service – Podcast June/July 2013 Edition

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

As promised last month I am delighted to welcome Pia Henseler into our studio this month. Welcome Pia.

Hello Claus thanks for having me

So Pia tell me what is your role at Intergate?

Well Claus I am a corporate client manager, in essence I specialise in looking after companies and their immigration requirements.

Why specialise in Corporates?

At Intergate we were the first immigration company who set up a tailored service for companies. Companies needs are very different from individuals and we wanted to be sure we offered by a service that best matched there needs.

So why are companies needs different?

Companies that I deal with really fall in two categories –
Number one those setting up operations here in South Africa. In this instance they often need expert help in terms of what sort of company structure, tax advice, banking and other operational items. As well, of course, as permit and visa advice.

And can you offer all that?

Absolutely – one of the reasons Intergate looks after so many corporates is the in house skills we have. We can assist companies right from the planning stage and take the stress out of much of the initial set up process and structures.

The other companies we deal with are where they need to recruit foreign workers. In this instance there is often a need to be involved with HR departments in planing the recruitment needs over the coming years. We are as proactive as possible in this planning stage to make sure we are providing the most suitable types of permits and visas that meet the companies needs going forward as well as for the here and now.

So what sort of service do your corporate clients get?

Firstly we have a dedicated client manager for each of our corporate clients. The appointed Client manager will agree regular on site visits for updates and assessing needs – never less than once a month and often weekly.

In addition each company is provided with a dedicated administrator to compile all their applications. Where possible we also make sure the administrator meets the company in question, there is no underestimating the power of having a great relationship and open channels of communications.

We also have a number of initiatives that include a purpose built client management system proving regular updates and receipts so the company knows where it stands with all its applications. We also monitor and inform the company of all expiring permits and visas well in advance and operate a 24 hour maximum repose time to all communication received.

My role in summary is to make the companies immigration processes as stress free as possible.

So what type of permits do corporates typically deal with?

In the main its work permits and accompanying permits (such as spousal and study) for employees dependants.

What are the main work permits you assist with?

Intergate can provide services for all permit and visa’s for South Africa but in terms of work permits we advise on a lot of corporate permits, intra company transfers and general work permits.

Can you tell us a bit about the corporate work permit?

Corporate work permits are particular useful when recruiting a number of foreigners into roles over the next few years. Its more cost effective and time efficient to obtain a corporate permit than the other types of work permit.

The permit is almost like a permission to recruit a number of foreign workers. This means when individual applications are made there is no need for all the formalities normally associated with work permits and the processing time is much quicker.

And what’s the difference between an intra company transfer and a general work permit?

An intra company transfer is where an employee is based outside of South Africa and the company is relocating them to work in their South African branch or subsidiary. A general work permit is where the company has tried to recruit the position locally but failed to find any suitable applicants who are South African citizens or permanent residency holders.

Pia, Can you help with the settling in process, I know this is one of the big concerns for new arrivals in South Africa.

It’s an important part of our service Claus. Not settling in is cited as the biggest reason for new foreign employees leaving prematurely.

We offer whole suite of services that if required include – home search, taxation, banking and insurance. Our role is to not just help with the permit but also the settling in.

Thanks Pia and on a personal note what is it you enjoy most about your role?

I have been with Intergate for 5 years now and never had a boring day. I really enjoy the interaction with so many different nationalities and working with companies to help solve their immigration needs. Of course the best part of the job is receiving “well dones” and appreciative comments from clients – its something I work very hard to achieve and provides me with the most job satisfaction.

Well Pia thanks for coming in today and sharing your insights with us. And if any of our listeners want to get in touch with you…

They are welcome to ring me 021 424 2460 or can e-mail on pia at intergate hyphen immigration dot com.

Well that’s all from me today, thanks for joining us and as always you are welcome to get more details on our website – just type intergate immigration into google to find us.

Next time we will be having a look at retired permits and the rules and regulations around them.

Until then this is good bye from Claus.