Intra-company Transfers

Intra company Transfers
Intra company Transfers

An Intra-company transfer is a type of work visa that allows for a staff member to transfer from an overseas company to a branch, subsidiary or affiliated business that is operating in South Africa.

Who should apply for an Intra-company transfer work visa?

Ideal for the multi-national company, the Intra-company work visa (Intra-company transfer) allows for an obvious temporary immigration route for staff members to South Africa. Employers should however note that the Intra-company transfer option is only appropriate where the employee is required in South Africa for a maximum period of a 4 years.

If the employee is required for longer than 4 years, the Intra-company work visa will not be appropriate and you should view further options here or you can contact us to discuss your needs.

If you have staff you need to relocate to South Africa, Intergate have a dedicated corporate department that you can contact here.

How long is the Intra-company transfer work visa valid for?

An Intra-company transfer is a temporary work visa only, and as such its validity period is for a maximum of four years. Please note an Intra-company transfer work visa cannot be extended.

About applying for an Intra-company transfer work visa

Importantly it should be noted that if a company is transferring an employee to work at a location in South Africa, you must have an Intra-company transfer work visa to enter the country. This means that the Intra-company transfer work visa needs to be applied for outside of South Africa.

What are the employers responsibilities?

The responsibilities of the employer can be broken down into those that the company abroad must adhere to and those that the branch, affiliate or subsidiary in South African must adhere to.

Responsibilities of the South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary

The South African company needs to 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;

The South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary also needs to demonstrate that they have an appropriate plan in place for the transfer of skills from the Intra-company work visa holder to a South African citizen or permanent resident holder.

Responsibilities of The South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary

The application will need the company abroad to demonstrate the following:

  • The employees contract of employment (with the company abroad) is valid for a period of not less than six 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.

What you need to apply for an Intra-company Transfer

The application would need to include:

  • A completed temporary visa application form.
  • A valid passport must with an expiry date no sooner than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit.
  • Proof of financial means to cover living expenses until you receive a salary in the form of:
    • bank statement;
    • cash available, or travellers’ cheques.
  • A medical and radiological report.
  • A vaccination certificate, if required.
  • A police clearance is required from every country where you lived for 12 months or longer since the age of 18 years.

NB – different consulates and embassies have different requirements regarding the application content for an Intra-company transfer work visa. An example of this is that some require a certified copy of the employee’s birth certificate. Care needs to be taken to ensure that all information and documentation (as required by the specific embassy) is included within the application.

Can partners and dependants accompany the employee?

Yes they can. Partners would need to apply for an accompanying visa whilst dependants of a school age would require a study visa.

Can permanent residency be applied for with an Intra-company transfer work visa?

No application can be made for permanent residency purely as a result of holding an intra-company work visa.

That said, applications for permanent residency can be made by those individuals who have held a work visa for 5 years and the period you have held an intra-company work visa for counts towards this time period.

Therefore if you have previously held, or subsequently hold, another type of work visa for 12 months or more, this combined with 4 years on an Intra-company work visa would allow for a permanent residency application.

Finding out more about Intra-company transfer work visa

Intergate Immigration has successfully assisted companies to submit applications in over 80 South African embassies and consulates around the globe. Offering South Africa’s premier dedicated corporate service, you can trust us with your companies and employees needs. Contact us here to be impressed.

Getting help with your visa or permit application

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.

You can take our free one minute assessment here or request a call back for more information. Or simply call us at +27 (0)21 424 2460.

Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.


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