How to Apply for a South Africa Work Visa Application

As South Africa continues to expand its manufacturing and economic sectors, more opportunities are available for skilled workers. The government pushes to acquire specifically skilled workers to make up for a lack of local skills.

There are several types of work visa applications you can apply for: 

  • Inter company transfer 
  • Business entrepreneurial 
  • General employment 
  • Highly skilled migrant 

These types of visa applications will solely depend on the applicant’s working situation. Below you will find a list of work permits and visas in South Africa. Along with that you will also see the requirements, how to apply, and how to get qualified. 

Who can apply for a South Africa Work Visa? 

The South Africa work visa that you apply for will act as a temporary residence visa. Any person who is not a permanent resident or a citizen of the country and wants to work can apply for a work visa. 

All types of work visas can be issued at the same time as your contract for employment. You should apply for a work visa if you fall under the following categories: 

  • You want to have temporary employment in the country regardless if there’s a reward or not. 
  • The company you are working for abroad wants to temporarily transfer you to an affiliate company or a branch located in South Africa. 
  • You want to run a business temporarily 
  • You want to visit a company in South Africa and you own 25% of the shares 
  • You have been chosen to be a consultant or an employee in South Africa temporarily for the government in terms of an inter governmental agreement. 
  • You want to acquire assets that are fixed for rent or speculation
  • You want to visit temporarily to make a film, TV commercial, or documentary 
  • You’re an au pair who wants to work temporarily as part of a cultural exchange 
  • You are a religious worker or a priest who is volunteering to work at an institution in South Africa 

Types of South Africa Work Applications 

  • Critical skills or highly skilled migrant – there are some skills that you can possess that are considered as exceptional or critical by the South African government. A person who has these skills and qualifications can apply for this type of work visa. For you to apply for this visa, you do not need to have a specific employment position at the time of your application. This visa is also valid for a maximum period of five years. Some examples of a critical skills: 
    • Agricultural Engineering 
    • Construction Project Manager 
    • Quantity Surveyor 
    • Information Communication and Technology 
    • CISCO Solution Specialist 
    • CISCO Engineers 
    • IT Security Specialist 
  • Corporate visa – this type of visa is not for one person but for a company who employs foreigners for a certain period of time. All of the workers present at this company will be given an individual corporate worker certificate. This visa is also very advantageous to a company because it allows the business to employ foreigners faster at a DHA discounted fee. 
  • Intra company transfer visa or ICT – When a person has been transferred to a company based in South Africa, they need to apply for this type of visa. Any applicant that has been working for a minimum of six months in the company’s foreign office can apply for this visa.  Under the new law of immigration, this visa will be issued for a period of four years and is non-extendable. If you have been issued an ICT that is valid for two years, which is issued under the old law, then you can apply for an extension for another two years. 
  • General work visa – this is one of the most common types of visas that are usually applied for by foreigners. For you to get a general work visa, the company that employs you must first provide substantial proof that the position cannot be filled by a citizen of South Africa. This means that the company will have to advertise the available position on local media first to ensure that an opportunity is not denied to citizens of South Africa. Those applying for this visa also need to obtain a certification from the Department of Labour, which states that their benefits and salary are proportionate with those paid to citizens of South Africa in similar positions. 

Requirements for a General Working Visa in South Africa 

Below are the details and some important information you will need before applying for a work visa in South Africa: 

  • Police Clearance Certificates for applicants that are older than 18 years old. 
  • Proof of job advertisement 
  • Employment documentation that includes your contract and a letter of repatriation deposit 
  • Personal information 
  • A duly completed application form as per submitting to the consulate, embassy or Department of Home Affairs office. 
  • Medical competency 

How to Apply and Qualify for a General Working Visa in South Africa 

Before starting the application process, the applicant needs an offer of employment. The position offered needs to be available first to citizens of South Africa and permanent residents. This is usually done by advertising the position available through a strenuous Department of Labour process and through print media. If the employer is not able to fill the position with a local candidate, then a foreigner can be offered the position. 

Qualifying for Critical Skills Visa 

A foreigner can qualify for a critical working visa if their profession is listed on the critical skills list. Their qualifications and experience needs to be confirmed by a relevant professional, board member, or council member, and also recognised by SAQA. 

Qualifying for an Intra Company Transfer Visa 

This is applicable for foreigners who are currently being transferred from another country to an office based in Cape Town. They will need to apply for an intra company transfer visa before arriving in the country.