Immigration to South Africa
Visitors Visa (section 11(2) is applicable to foreign nationals who seeks to conduct short term work related activities in South Africa can do so for a maximum duration of 90 days.
However, if a foreign national needs to visit SA for a short seminar, conference, meetings, etc, they may enter SA as a normal visitor in terms of Section 11(1) of the SA Immigration Act.
Please be advised that there are certain countries, which are exempt from requiring visitors visas. Visa exempt passport holders, one may enter SA with merely a letter of invitation, detailing the purpose and duration of the visit, which may be presented at the port of entry.
Non visa0exempt passport holders must apply for visitors’ visas prior to traveling to SA and they will require proof of accommodation in SA, flight itinerary, proof of sufficient funds, letters of invitation, etc.
General Work Visa Section 19(2) is for an applicant to apply for a general work visa, they must meet some additional requirements.
All tertiary educational qualifications must be evaluated by SAQA (The South African Qualifications Authority). The position must also be advertised in a national SA distributed newspaper as well as through an independent SA recruitment agency. The position must also be advertised on The Dept. of Labour’s website.
The Dept. of labor could take six months or more to process the request.
Once the DOL has completed their process (which may include an inspection of the company premises), they will advise us that their recommendation has been sent to the office where the applicant plans to apply for their work visas.
At that point, the applicant may proceed to apply for a work visa (work visa will take 30 days + to be processed, depending on which country of application).
It should also be noted that DOL does not advise us as third parties whether the recommendation is negative or positive.
Critical Skills Work Visa Section 19(4) is for an applicant to apply for a critical skills work visa, there are some additional requirements which must accompany the application itself.
All tertiary educational qualifications and official transcripts/subject lists evaluated by SAQA which is the (South African Qualifications Authority (processing time will be 30 working days).
The applicant must then register with and obtain a recommendation from the relevant SAQA accredited board/body/council in SA, which cover the foreigners field of expertise (processing time will depend on which board/body/council person has to register with and could take 6 weeks + to be processed).
The applicant must then apply for critical skills work visa in their usual country of residence (processing time will be approximately 30 working days +, depending on country of application).
Intra Company Transfer (ICT) work visa applications are applicable if a foreigner has been employed at a company outside SA for at least 6 months and is being assigned to a branch, subsidiary or affiliated company in SA, for a maximum duration of 4 years.
The applicant must apply for a work visa in their usual country of residence (processing time will be approximately 30 working days +, depending on country of application).
An ICT work visa may be issued for a maximum duration of 4 years (provided that the applicant’s passport is valid for that duration) and may not be extended in SA, unless the full 4-year duration was not granted in the first instance.
One of the crucial requirements for this work visa, is a Skills Transfer Plan, which the employer in SA must provide regarding the transfer of skills to local employees.
If one is in SA on an ICT work visa, one may not change to any other visa category from within SA.
Generally, ICT work visas will not be granted if a company outside SA wants to send an employee to a company in SA with whom they have a contractual obligation or similar (the company in SA must be a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate (affiliate meaning that there must be at least a 10% shareholding in the SA company).
This work visa category does not allow one to apply for permanent residence status.
Concession made where by expats can apply for ICT extension for a further 2 years whose visa expired during lock down period and until 30 June 2021.