Work visa requirements for South African immigration

Work visa requirements for South African immigration
Work visa requirements for South African immigration

Background to Work Visa for South African Immigration

South Africa offers a number of options for those who are seeking a Work Visa for the purposes of South African immigration.

Similar to other countries the Work Visa legislation focuses on two main areas:

  1. The protection of employment opportunities for South Africans
  2. The ability to recruit skilled foreign workers into skill shortage areas or fulfil corporate requirements.

In essence regulations around Work Visas have to provide a balance between making sure employers recruit local South Africans where possible, but allow them to recruit workers from abroad where they are unable to do this.

Types of Work Visa

South Africa has four types of work visas:

1. Critical skills work visa

This work visa is based on a well researched list of occupations that are badly needed in South Africa. You must have a job offer to apply for a critical skills work visa, and you’ll be eligible to apply for permanent residency with 5 years of relevant work experience.

2. General work visa

To apply for a general work visa, the applicant must have a job offer from a South African employer. In turn, the employer must prove that they advertised the position being filled by the foreign national and that they were unsuccessful in finding a South African for the role.

Learn more about the requirements for a general work visa here.

3. Intra-company transfer work visa

The intra-company transfer work visa is for when an individual is being transferred from a branch of the company, based outside of South Africa, to a branch of the company within South Africa. This work visa can also be applied for by individuals who are employees of sister companies or companies with a shared interest. The visa allows the employee to relocate to South Africa and undertake employment for a certain period of time and only for the specified employer.

4. Corporate work visa

Organisations that have a need to recruit a number of foreign staff over a set period of time can apply for a corporate work visa. Obtaining a corporate work visa is hugely beneficial to an organisation. It not only reduces costs, but also speeds up the work visa application process. The individuals applying ‘under’ the corporate visa do not have to provide for many of the requirements normally associated with a work visa.

Intergate Immigration have a specialised department that deals with the unique needs of companies. If you are a company looking for the most comprehensive visa and permit solutions request a call back here for your free non obligatory consultation.

Some Frequently asked questions on work visas

Can I apply for Permanent Residency with a work visa?

Obtaining permanent residency via the work visa option inevitably means first having to not just get temporary residency but also maintain it for a 5 year period of time. Intra company transfer visa are not considered within this 5 year rule.

Can my family come with me?

Partners and dependants can accompany holders of work visas. Please note partners are not allowed to study, work or run a business, they are simply allowed only to accompany and stay in South Africa. They may also not be included in permanent residency applications but may themselves apply at a later time dependent on their relationships with the permanent resident.

What about my children attending school?

Dependant children can attend a South African school but need to first obtain a study visa.

Why not subscribe to our newsletter or visit our frequently asked questions website to make sure you keep up to date on the requirements for South African work visas.

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 on +27 (0)21 424 2460.

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


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