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17. Jan. 2023 SA Migration

Business Visa


South Africa is a country that welcomes much-needed foreign investment. Therefore, a section of South African immigration legislation deals specifically with foreign individuals wishing to conduct business in the country or invest in a South African company.

If you are trying to start your own business, take over an existing business, or invest in a company in South Africa, you need to apply for a Business Visa. Furthermore, you will need to invest a prescribed financial capital contribution, and at least 60% of your workforce needs to be South African.

The capital requirement may be reduced or waived for the following industries:

• Information and communication technology

• Clothing and textile manufacturing

• Chemicals and biotechnology

• Agriculture processing

• Metals and minerals refinement

• Automotive manufacturing

• Tourism

• Crafts

You should also show proof of the following:

• Certification by a chartered accountant of an amount determined by the minister or a capital contribution

• A recommendation from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) regarding the feasibility of your business plan

• Undertaking to register with an appropriate statutory body, depending on the nature of the business

• An undertaking to register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS)

The processing time is within 40 working days and the cost is R1,520 for the application plus R1,350 for the service fee.

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Non-immigrant South African visas (long-term)

Study Visa
Foreigners who want to study in South Africa, at any level, must apply for a Study Visa before they arrive in the country. This applies even if you are coming to South Africa as the dependent of someone who is coming to work there. International students applying for scholarships in South Africa may also require a study visa first. You can read more about how to apply, as well as the requirements, in our Guide to student visas in South Africa.

Exchange Visa
Young people aged 25 and under can apply for an Exchange Visa in order to participate in economic, cultural, and social exchange programs in South Africa. Notably, these programs must be affiliated initiatives between a South African state body or higher education institution and an international organization or education institution.

The University of Cape Town in South Africa

It is important to note that these visas are only valid for the duration of the program and cannot be renewed or extended. The documents required depend on the exchange program and the processing time is within 40 working days. You will need to contact the embassy to find out the costs as these can vary.

Work Visas
There are four primary types of work visas available for South Africa, and these depend on the applicant’s situation. You can read more about these in detail in our Guide to getting a South African work visa.

In short, these main work visas are:

• General Work Visa

• Critical Skills Work Visa (GSWV)

• Intra-Company Transfer Visa (ICT)

• Corporate Work Visa

General Work Visa

The General Work Visa is the most common type of work visa for South Africa. To obtain one, the employing company must show documentary proof that they tried to employ a South African citizen first and could not fill the position; for example, showing advertisements of the position in the local media.

Secondly, the applicant must submit proof of their qualifications and experience. The South African Qualifications Authority must also approve their qualifications. General Work Visas are valid for the duration of the contract up to five years.

Critical Skills Work Visa (CSWV)
The South African government considers some skills to be in short supply in the local labor market. This has allowed employers to recruit suitable candidates from abroad who meet these skill-shortage demands. A person with these coveted skills or qualifications may obtain a Critical Skills Work Visa without securing a specific position at the time of application. Having published articles, a doctorate, or being an expert in a field will also strengthen your application.

Some of the skills currently considered as critical are:

• Agricultural engineer

• Boilermaker

• Business analyst

• Financial investment advisor

• Geochemist

• Geologist

• IT security specialist

• Mining technician

• Nursing professionals

• Pressure welder

• Soil scientist

• Urban and regional planner

The most recent list of critical skills catalogues positions that can be filled by formally qualified foreigners who have a minimum of five years of practical experience.

You should be able to provide proof of:

• Relevant qualifications as certified by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), including authenticated copies of academic certifications or degrees; notably, any qualification certificates not in English require a translation from a certified translator

• Registration with the relevant South African professional body, trade organization, board or council, if your field requires such permission

You can find the complete list of conditions for the Critical Skills Work Visa here. The processing time is within 20 working days, and the costs are R1,520 for the application fee and R1,570 for the VFS service fee.

Intra-Company Transfer Visa (ICT)
It is not uncommon for multinational companies to transfer employees between countries. When a person moves to South Africa, they must apply for the Intra-Company Transfer Visa (ICT). Notably, an applicant must have first worked for a minimum of six months in the company’s foreign office before applying to relocate to the South African branch.

An Intra-Company Transfer Visa lasts for four years and is not extendable. Applicants must also apply for a new ICT from their country of origin or permanent residence. The processing time is within 60 business days and the costs are R1,520 for the application fee and R1,350 for the service fee.

Corporate Work Visa
Suppose a business, often in the farming, mining, or engineering sector, needs to recruit a larger number of international workers due to a domestic skills shortage. In that case, it needs to apply with the number of workers required and provide specific job descriptions. The employer must also prove that they could not find employees with the relevant skills in the South African labor market.

If the Corporate Work Visa is approved, then the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will issue each employee with a Corporate Workers Certificate. The employer will then convert this into a Corporate Workers Visa. This is valid for up to three years in South Africa.

The processing times for Corporate Work Visas is up to 60 days, and the costs are R1,520 for the application fee and R1,350 for the service fees; these are paid by the employer and employee, respectively.

Other visas under the Work Visa category include:

• Treaty Visa

• Volunteer Visa

• Academic Sabbatical Visa

• Research Visa

www.samigration.com



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21. Jun. 2024 Tourism Update

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19. Jun. 2024 BBC

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19. Jun. 2024 News24

Constitutional Court dismisses application for leave to appeal Zimbabwe permit decision

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Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa rolls out e-passports

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13. Jun. 2024 IOL

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10. Jun. 2024 Times Lives

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5 South African Countries Announce Plans to Introduce Single Visa to Promote Tourism

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10. Jun. 2024 The South African

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling SA

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10. Jun. 2024 News24

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10. Jun. 2024 The Guardian

High court rules Home Office acted unlawfully over visa documents

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10. Jun. 2024 City Press

SA`s population is getting older: `New report offers government blueprint for future planning`

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07. Jun. 2024 BusinessTech

South Africa scores massive own-goal

Woes within South Africa’s visa processes have left businesses and skilled workers in limbo, hurting investment and business activity as a result. Recently, French diplomats warned that South Africa’s strict visa requirements are driving investors away. In addition to this, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said that a key obstacle attracting investment and expanding business is “the broken South African visa regime.” “To facilitate foreign investment, companies need to be able to easily access South Africa and those who apply for critical skills visas typically help to develop new and existing sectors, in line with international best practice or by helping to new industries through skills development,” said Wegner. Companies aiming to operate in the country must invest a minimum of R5 million and ensure at least 60% of their employees are South African. V.5419

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Articles

21. Jun. 2024 Business Tech

Big loss for Home Affairs in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has lost its legal battle over Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs). The Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) previously took the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to court over his termination of the ZEP under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA). V.5436

Click here for full article

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