The requirements for South African work visas

requirements for south african work visasDo you know what the requirements for South African work visas are?

You don’t? You’re not the only one. A great number of people who call us about work visas don’t know either.

But here’s why we think it’s important to know at least the main requirements:

  • You won’t pin your hopes and dreams on a visa you don’t qualify for.
  • You won’t go ahead and actually apply for a visa you don’t qualify for.

We’re sure you can tell that both these scenarios will only lead to disappointment and frustration.

And that’s why we’re sharing the requirements for South African work visas with you today.

General work and critical skills work visas

We get asked about the general work visa and critical skills work visa on a daily basis. Here are their main requirements:

Requirements

General work visa

Critical skills work visa

Job offer

Yes

No – but you must secure a job within 12 months of the visa being issued if you don’t have a job offer when applying for your visa.

CV

Yes

Yes

Proof of employer’s attempt to employ a South African

Yes

No

Skills and qualifications appear on South Africa’s critical skills list

No

Yes

SAQA

Yes – but only for qualifications achieved abroad.

Yes – but only for qualifications achieved abroad.

Professional body or council registration

Yes – but only for statutory professions

Yes

Police Clearance Certificate

Yes

Yes

Proof of good health

Yes

Yes

Here are answers to some of the questions you might have after going through above:

  • Why do I need proof of the employer’s attempt to employ a South African?

The South African government wants to see that South Africans had a fair chance to apply for a job and were considered too.

  • Why must my skills and qualifications appear on South Africa’s critical skills list?

The critical skills visa is in place specifically to attract foreigners with skills that are needed in South Africa.

  • What is SAQA?

The South African Qualifications Authority, SAQA, verifies your qualifications with the institution abroad and equates it with the nearest possible South African equivalent on the NQF framework.

Intra-company transfer and corporate workers visas

Employers contact us about these visas, much more so than individuals.

An intra-company transfer visa is where an overseas employer transfers an employee to a South African branch, subsidiary or affiliate. The corporate workers visa follows an employer’s application for a corporate permit.

The main requirements of each visa are:

Intra-company transfer visa

The overseas employer, South African employer and employee must meet certain requirements for this visa.

The overseas employer must demonstrate that:

  • The employee have been in their employment for more than 6 months.
  • Confirmation that the applicant shall be transferred to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of that company in South Africa.
  • That the employee will not be staying in South African more than 4 years.

The South African company must confirm:

  • Acceptance of the transfer of the employee to them in their capacity as a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of the company abroad.
  • That the employee will only be employed in the specific occupation and capacity for which the intra-company transfer work visa was granted.
  • That the foreign employee will at all times comply with the provisions of the Act and conditions of their visa.
  • That they undertake to immediately notify the Director-General if the employee does not comply with the provisions of the act or conditions attached to the visa.
  • Any potential deportation costs that maybe associated to the employee and his or her dependent family members, will be born by the company should it become necessary.
  • That the employee holding the intra-company transfer work visa will have at all times a valid passport for the duration of his or her employment.
  • That an appropriate plan is in place for the transfer of skills from the visa holder to a South African employee.

You must:

  • Provide proof of financial means to cover living expenses until you receive a salary in the form of:
    • a bank statement;
    • cash available, or travellers’ cheques.
  • Prove that you’re in good health.
  • Provide police clearance certificates.

Corporate workers visa

Employers with a corporate workers permit can issue corporate workers certificates to employees to apply for individual corporate workers visas.

The main requirements for your visa application are:

  • The relevant corporate workers certificate as issued under the corporate visa.
  • A contract of employment.
  • Proof of the foreign employees qualifications.
  • Proof of registration with the appropriate professional body.

Let’s recap the requirements for South African work visas

Not all South African work visas have the same requirements. Knowing the differences is important if you want to pursue a visa you actually qualify for. It’s the first, simple step in making the journey to South Africa.

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