One of the ways of obtaining residency in South Africa is via Immigration to South Africa on a business visa. A business visa does not just mean setting up a business, or buying into one in South Africa, but it also means you wish to work within this business. Should you be wishing to invest, but not wishing to work in the business please see information here on the investors visa.
Below we give you ten need-to-know facts on Immigration to South Africa on a business visa:
1. Who can apply for a business visa?
Immigration to South Africa on a business visa is for foreign nationalities that are not married or in partnerships with either a South African citizen or permanent residency holder.
Those in such a relationship need to apply for either a spousal visa or life partner visa (depending upon their marital status) and obtain an endorsement to this visa rather than a stand alone business visa.
2. What residency can you obtain with Immigration to South Africa on a business visa?
You would first apply for temporary residency (a business visa) which, if granted, is normally for a period of not more than 3 years. Once temporary residency has been received you may make an application for permanent residency (a business permit).
3. Can my family also immigrate if I am granted this visa?
As with all visa in South Africa each applicant is granted a visa in their own right. Your spouse or partner and any children of a non school age would need to apply for accompanying visa and children in education would require study visa.
4. What is the basic criteria for a business visa?
The Department of Home Affairs will require, amongst other items:
- A comprehensive business plan;
- An appropriative business structure;
- Undertaking with regards to the employment of South Africans;
- An investment amount of not less than 5 million rand originating from funds abroad;
- A completed application form either Form BI-1738 or Form BI-947;
- Written undertakings in respect of Revenue tax requirements;
- Medical and good standing report.
5. Can I run more than one business?
Immigration to South Africa, on a business visa, is specific to a particular business and does not entitle you to work within any other entity other than the one specified on the application and subsequent visa. You can however freely make investments into other businesses but not work in them.
6. I have seen reports that you can get exemptions from investing the R5 million rand; is this true?
The immigration act does allow for this, you can view more here on business categories that may qualify for a waiver.
7. How many people must I commit to employing?
It is a requirement that 60% of your staff are South African citizens, or Permanent residency holders.
8. In what format must the business plan be?
There is no specified format but business plans are central to Immigration to South Africa on a business visa and as such must be comprehensive. It should also be remembered that the business plan also needs to be written in accordance with specific items that the Department of Home Affairs will look out for in judging your application so it will vary from a normal one.
9. What are the medical and good standing reports?
The medical reports take the form of: 1. a doctors report and 2. a radiological report which includes a chest x-ray. Good standing refers to a police clearance certificate. A police clearance certificate is required from every country the applicant has resided in for a period of 12 months or more since the age of 18.
10. Where should I make an application?
Legislation forbids any visa application that would result in a change of status. As an example, entering South Africa on a tourist visa and then applying whilst on this tourist visa for Immigration to South Africa on a business visa, would not be allowed. Where a change of status does not apply then the application can be made in South Africa.
Getting help and more information in Immigration to South Africa on a business visa
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.
Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.