Work Visa – General

Work Visa General
Work Visa General

A General Work Visa South Africa, is one of 5 types of work visa categories that you can make a work visa application under.

Unlike the others types of work visa, the general work visa requires that the employer has made every attempt to try to fill their vacant position with either a South African Citizen or permanent resident.

Below we give you 10 important facts you need to know about a General Work Visa South Africa.

1. Background to a General Work Visa South Africa:

The whole basis on which general work visa are issued is two fold: To protect South African labour by ensuring that positions filled by foreign workers can not be met through locals. To enable companies to recruit foreign workers where they are unable to locally.

2. Who should apply for a General Work Visa South Africa?

Applicants for a general work visa should first ensure that they do not meet the qualifying criteria for any of the other work visas. This can be done by taking advantage of our free assessment. In addition they shouldn’t be applicants who are being transferred by their employer from an international branch or whose employer holds a corporate work visa.

3. Do spouses and partners need to apply for a general work visa?

No general work visa application is required for spouses or partners of South African citizens or permanent resident holders. The correct visa application for spouses and partners is a spousal or partner visa. This visa can then be endorsed to allow the applicant to work for a specific employer.

4. What is the basic qualifying criteria for a general work visa?

The following will be required for a general work visa application:

  • Job offer and acceptance.
  • CV.
  • Proof of the employer’s attempts to first recruit a South African permanent resident or citizen for the position.
  • SAQA registration, confirming the applicant’s qualifications.
  • Proof of good health and character.

5. Where can applications be made?

Applications for a general work visa should be made at the embassy or consulate in the applicants home country. Renewing of a general work visa can take place in South Africa.

6. Can spouses and partners of general work visa holders also work?

Only the holder of a general work visa is entitled to work. An accompanying partner or spouse visa can be applied for but this only allows for entry and stay in South Africa. Should the spouse or partner also wish to take up employment they would need to apply for the appropriate work visa themselves. Also children would need to have separate applications made for study visa.

7. How long does the application process take?

Time frames for processing general work visa vary greatly. Once the application has been submitted it generally takes around 8 – 12 weeks but delays in this are common. Please note that compiling the application also takes some time as adverts must be run and SAQA obtained.

8. How long is a general work visa valid for?

The validity period can vary but is typically between 2 and 4 years. General work visa can also be extended by a making a further application towards the existing general work visa expiry date.

9. Can I apply for permanent residency with a general work visa?

The first step is to secure temporary residency and you cannot apply straight away for permanent residency. However once you have held your general work visa for a unbroken period of 5 years you may apply for permanent residency.

10. What comes first the job offer or the work visa?

Prospective immigrants to South Africa are often frustrated as they attempt to secure jobs. Often employees will not entertain the prospect of offering positions to foreigners who are not in possession of a work visa. Some of this is down to not understanding the process. You can however increase your chances of success. Start the process by obtaining your SAQA and informing the prospective employer that you have started the work visa process and retained an immigration company already.

Next steps

You may be surprised at the work visa options that are available to you. In the first instance we recommend you speak to one of our expert client managers. They will provide you with a free assessment that carries no obligation. So to get started and find out more about a general work visa South Africa call us today at + 27 (0) 21 4242460.

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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