South Africa Work Visa
If you are interested in working in South Africa, you will need a Work Visa. With more than one type of work visa, you can apply to reside and work legally in South Africa. The temporary work visas include
- Inter-company transfer
- General employment
- Highly-skilled migrant
- Business entrepreneur
South Africa's economy is growing, which means more job opportunities for workers with skills in relevant fields and various positions. In addition, more foreigners are finding jobs in South Africa by the day. However, if you are semi-skilled or unskilled, there might be fewer opportunities for you. As South Africa is in need of skilled workers, the government is encouraging skilled workers. Recently, in 53 different categories, there were 35,000 positions available.
Depending on the applicant's employment solution, various South African Visa types are available. Below are the conditions necessary to apply for a work visa in South Africa.
Who Needs a South African Work Visa?
The South African Work Visa acts as a temporary residence visa. If you are not a permanent resident or a citizen of South Africa and wish to work in the country, you will need to obtain a South Africa work Visa.
The time limit for a South African Work Visa is as long as the employment contract. You might apply for a work visa with these conditions:
- If you are interested in working in South Africa temporarily, with or without reward
- If your plans will set up a temporary business in South Africa
- If your company wants to affiliate in South Africa or transfer you to a branch temporarily
- If you are hired to work temporarily as a consultant or an employee for the government if the intergovernmental agreement meets the required term and conditions
- If you have more than 25% of the control share in a company you wish to visit in South Africa.
- If you are visiting South Africa to shoot a documentary, movie, or Tv commercial
- If you are a religious worker or a priest and want to temporarily work as a volunteer at a religious institution in the country
- If you are temporarily working as an au pair as a cultural exchange in South Africa
Types of South African Work Visas
General Work Visa
This is the most common type of work visa you can apply for in South Africa. You can obtain this visa only if there is a position in a company which a South African Citizen does not fill. The position should be advertised on social media, ensuring that the jobs are not denied to the citizens of South Africa. Secondly, the applicant's experience or qualifications must be submitted as proof. SAQA (South African Qualification Authority) must confirm their qualification.
Among other things, the applicant must obtain a certification from the Department of Labor. Those things include their benefits and salaries, which are commensurate to South African Citizens' payment on the same position.
A permanent employment contract must be signed by the applicant and must be included in the application pack sent to the embassy, DHA (Department of Home Affairs), or diplomatic/consulate representative in your country. The company may be charged with massive fines if an employee is working illegally with them.
Critical Skills Work Visa (Highly Skilled Migrants)
If you have qualifications/ skills that are regarded as exceptional by the government of South Africa, you can apply for a Critical Skill Work Visa. You don't need a job at the time of applying to obtain this type of visa.
SAQA will need to confirm an applicant's skills in writing, ensuring that the applicant is eligible to apply for a Critical Work Visa. It is also necessary to have a letter from the relevant professional body. If you have a PhD in a relevant field and have published articles or research papers, that may aid in your application. You should see all the terms and conditions while applying for a Critical Skills Work Visa.
The Validity of a Critical Skills Work Visa is up to five years. You can apply for an extension if needed. To obtain permanent residence, you will need to have a Critical Skills Work Visa.
Intra-company transfer visa (ICT)
You need to apply for an Intra-company transfer visa if you are an employee of a multinational company and transferred to South Africa. As Multinational company employees travel around the world to work, you will need this type of visa to work in such a company in South Africa. To obtain this type of visa, you need to work at least six months in the foreign office of the company in order to relocate to a branch in South Africa.
The validity of this visa is up to four years under the new immigration law of South Africa, which cannot be extended. Under this act, if an applicant holds an ICT visa with a validity of two years can apply for an extension of a further two years. However, this extension does not count as a permit for permanent residence in the country
If you are merely seconded or being transferred to the company's branch, you will need a business or work visa:
- You will need a work visa if you are temporarily transferred to the South African branch or affiliate on payroll and reported directly to by the local branch.
- You will need a business visa if you are transferred to the South African branch based on purpose and period and reported directly to by the local branch.
This type of visa is issued to a company and not to an individual; corporate visas allow a company to employ foreign workers in a certain period of time. The advantage of this type of visa is that the company will pay a discounted fee to the DHA and will be able to hire foreign workers much faster.
Depending on the visa type, you will need these requirements amongst others:
- A passport with a validity of at least one month intended after your return trip
- Proof confirming your employment situation in the country
- Medical and vaccination reports
- Your qualifications- evaluated and translated by SAQA (South African Qualification Authority)
Where to apply for a South African work visa
An appropriate visa is required for a foreigner who wishes to enter South Africa at:
- The South African Embassy, Diplomatic or consular representative in the applicant's country of citizenship or residence
- If no diplomatic representative is available in your residence or country, then at nearby foreign or adjoining country
- At the nearest VFS (Visa Facilitation Centre), if in South Africa.
You can access the application forms online for collecting the forms or from the appropriate authority in your residence or country.
The Department of Home Affairs' foreign offices will finalise and process the residence visas applications. Once you obtain your temporary residence visa, then you can proceed with arrangements to travel to South Africa.