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Work in South Africa


As South Africa has a growing economy and manufacturing sector, South Africa has many job opportunities for skilled workers in various positions and increasingly foreigners are finding work in South Africa. However, there are fewer opportunities for employment in South Africa in unskilled or semi-skilled positions. Thus, the government encourages applications by skilled workers in occupations for which there is a shortage in the country; the most recent list of critical skills lists almost 35,000 positions across 53 different categories.

Work visas in South Africa

There are below mentioned three types of work permits available in South Africa:


General Work Visa

The General Work Visa is the most common type of visa. In order to obtain this visa, the employing company must prove the position cannot be filled by a South African. This usually means they have to advertise the position in the local media first; this ensures jobs aren't denied to South African citizens. Secondly, proof has to be submitted of the applicant's qualifications and/or experience. Their qualifications have to be checked by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Applicants must also obtain certification from the Department of Labor, stating among other things, that their salary and benefits are commensurate with those paid to South African citizens in similar positions.


Critical skills work visa (highly skilled migrants)

There are some skills regarded as exceptional by the South African government. A person who has such skills and/or qualifications can apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa. In order to obtain this visa, the applicant doesn't need a job at the time of application.

The legislation specifies what skills qualify as critical via the DHA's critical skills list. A relevant South African authority (for example, SAQA) needs to confirm the applicant's skills in writing; this ensures the applicant falls within the critical field of work. Occasionally a letter from the relevant professional body is also necessary. If you have a doctorate in a specific field and have published articles or are an expert in a field, this can aid your application. See the full list of conditions for the Critical Skills Work Visa.


Intra-company transfer visa (ICT)

In today's world, people who work in multinational companies commonly transfer between countries. Where a person has been transferred into South Africa, they need to apply for the Intra-Company Transfer visa. Any applicant must have worked for a minimum of six months in the company's foreign office before applying to relocate to the South African branch.Under the new immigration law, this visa is issued for a period of four years and is not extendable.

Depending on whether you are being transferred or merely seconded to your company's branch, you'll need either a work visa or a business visa. If you are being transferred temporarily to a South African branch or affiliate and will be reported directly to, and on the payroll of, the local branch, then you will need a work visa.


Corporate Visas

A Corporate Visa is not issued to an individual but to an employing company, and allows that company to employ a number of foreign workers during a certain time period. Workers work on Individual Corporate Worker Certificates. This type of visa is also incredibly advantageous to a company; it allows the firm to employ foreigners much faster and at a discounted fee to the DHA.


Business Visas

If you plan to move to South Africa to open a business or invest in an existing business, you must apply for a Business Visa. Applicants must invest substantial capital as well as show a business plan.

All business visa applicants must apply for a letter of recommendation from the Department of Trade and Industry regarding the feasibility of their business and the contribution of the business to the national interest of South Africa.

Additionally, you must show that:

  • the business's workforce comprises at least 60% of South African employees;
  • the proposed business is undesirable in nature;
  • the business has the highest chance of success by way of a detailed business plan;
  • the business is compliant with existing South African company law.
  • Among other requirements, the DHA states you must submit the Form BI-1738, plus a certificate issued by a chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants to the effect that you have a capital contribution and/or cash to the value of at least ZAR 5.0mn that has originated from outside South Africa.

Certain businesses can reduce this amount with a waiver if they're beneficial to the country; for example, information and communication technology, clothing and textile manufacturing, chemicals and bio-technology, agro-processing, metals and minerals refinement, automotive manufacturing and tourism, among others.

How Oasis Resource Management Can Help?

We can help you with document checklist, application process, assist in filling the application with the embassy and follow-ups. Treat your visa petition as an investment for the future - yours and your children. Apply for it now, watch it mature later. Avail of the benefits all your life. So, why should you sign up now, because you need to strike when the iron is hot!

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