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Getting a South African work visa

On May 22, 2020 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

Copy of Tips to help you find some work experience (4)

Many foreigners wish to live and work in South Africa each year. While some want to move to South Africa on a temporary basis, others want to make the move a permanent arrangement. No matter how long you decide to stay, here’s everything you need to know about getting a South African work visa.

South Africa has a number of visas that allow a foreign national to work in the country, each with its own set of requirements. There are three visas specifically for the purpose of working in South Africa. These visas are the following:

  • Critical skills work visa – You’d need to fall on the critical skills list in order to be eligible
  • General work visa – A job offer is mandatory. Your employer needs to have exhausted all options in trying to find a South African local for the post before offering the role to a foreigner
  • Intra-company transfer work visa – This is when there is a transfer from a foreign entity to a SA branch, subsidiary or affiliate

Besides the three main work visas, there are also four other visas which also allow for work under certain conditions:

  • Spousal or Life Partner Visa – A work endorsement can be added into the respective visa if there is a job offer. Employers would not need to advertise the position or prove why a SA local has not been chosen. This is one of the benefits to the spousal and life partner visa category
  • Work Exchange Visa – This is when there is an exchange program between a South African and foreign learning institution. Alternatively, an applicant under the age of 25 years who has a job offer and wants to get work experience in South Africa may apply.
  • Short term work visa – This is known as the Section 11(2) visa. It’s a visitor’s visa with authorisation to conduct short term work assignments in South Africa for a period of 90 days. This can be extended for a further 90 days within South Africa if there is sufficient motivation. Please note that this is issued for a maximum of 180 days in an annual cycle
  • Study visa – Allows for 20 hours part time work for those studying in higher education

The time frames differ significantly from one work visa to the other. For critical skills particularly, one also needs to factor in the turnaround times for the professional body registration. Once you have had a consultation with one of our immigration specialists and established your best option, we will map out the approximate timeline for you step-by-step so you can plan accordingly.

If you’re looking for assistance with your visa, we’re here to help! By using an immigration consultant, you also get the peace of mind of knowing that your application is in the hands of someone up to date on all immigration legislation. Our immigration consultants in South Africa know relocation procedures back to front.
If you’re looking to use an Immigration Consultant for all your immigration needs, make sure you get in touch with us today!

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