Frequently Asked Questions on Immigration
Must a foreign national obtain a visa in order to visit SA for tourism purposes?
It depends on what passport the foreigner is travelling on, as certain passport holders are visa exempt for between 30 and 90 days.
May any foreign national work in SA?
Only if in possession of a valid and appropriate work visa.
What types of work visa categories are available to work in SA?
Intra-company transfer work visas – The foreigner is employed at a company outside SA and is being assigned to that company’s legal entity in SA for a maximum duration of 4 years.
Critical skills work visas – Foreigner qualifies in line with a category listed on the critical skills list and has an offer of employment in SA.
General work visas – The foreigner has obtained a positive recommendation from The Department of Labour in SA and has an offer of employment in SA.
If a foreigner is not visa exempt, how long will it take for a visa to be issued by the authorities outside SA?
Visitors and Study visas usually takes 1 to 5 weeks.
Work and Retirement visas usually take 8 to 10 weeks.
However, it often depends on the country of application, workload, etc.
Name two crucial requirements in order to apply for a business visa (to manage your own business)
A minimum investment amount of R5 million, unless a waiver has been issued by The Department of Home Affairs and a positive recommendation from The Department of Trade and Industry.
If a foreign national gives birth in SA whilst on a temporary residence visa, does their child qualify for SA citizenship?
The child will qualify to apply for SA citizenship, once they attain the age of 18 and on condition that they have resided in SA since birth.
If a foreign national is at retirement age, may they apply for a temporary retirement visa in SA?
Only if they are able to prove a minimum monthly retirement income of R37 000,00.
If a foreign national needs to extend a temporary residence visa whilst in SA, how long in advance should this be done?
An application for an extension must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the current visa expiry date.
If a foreign national is in SA on a visitor’s stay/visa, may they change to a different visa category from within SA?
No, unless the foreigner is married to a SA citizen or SA permanent resident.
If a foreign national is in SA on a visitor’s stay/visa, may they extend their visitor stay/visa?
Yes, if the foreign national was granted a 90-day visitors stay, they must apply for an extension, at least 60 days prior to the current visa expiry. If they were granted a 30-day visitor visa, they must apply for an extension at least 10 days prior to the current visa expiry date.
What is the maximum duration that a visitor’s visa may be extended for?
May a foreign national apply for a study visa to study in SA?
Yes, as long as they are in possession of a letter of acceptance from a study institution in SA, which study institution must be registered with The Department of Education.
If a foreign national is granted a work visa for SA, may their foreign spouse work?
No, the foreign spouse must qualify and apply for a work visa within their own right.
How long are work and study visas issued for?
It depends on the duration of studies which will be stipulated in the study institution letter, or the duration of employment which will be stipulated in the offer of employment.
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