The 7 most useful Work Permit options for businesses in South Africa

On October 26, 2014 / by Michaela / Leave a comment

Work Permit South Africa

Local and foreign businesses in South Africa have a variety of opportunities to employ unique skill sets and language proficiency by means of Work Permits for South Africa.

Please find below a complete list of work permit options for businesses to enable employment of foreign staff in South Africa:

1) Corporate Work Permit South Africa

A Corporate Work Permit allows South African companies to hire a comparatively large number of foreign nationals for a pre-determined time period. Companies choose this approach if they require large amounts of foreign staff with language proficiency and unique skill sets unavailable in South Africa. This permit option is used a lot by the growing call centre industry, as well as the tourism and travel sector.

To find out more about the Corporate Work Permit for South Africa, please read more here.

2) Business Permit South Africa

A Business Visa is valid for 24 months and is issued to foreign entrepreneurs wishing to come to South Africa to either start a new enterprise, take on an existing enterprise, or invest in a local business. A business permit requires the entrepreneur to have quite investment capital, in excess of 2.5 million Rand t. It also requires the entrepreneur or investor to submit a detailed business plan clearly stating the nature of the business and the intention of employing a minimum of five South Africans (or permanent residents). Registering with the South African Revenue Service is also expected.

If you are an entrepreneur, investor or business owner and you would like to know more about the Business Permit for South Africa, follow the link and read on.

3) Exceptional Skills Work Permit South Africa

An Exceptional Skills Works Visa may be issued to applicants whose skills or qualifications are considered ‘exceptional’ by the South African government. It has a maximum duration of three years but may be extended. Exceptional Skills are not clearly defined by the Department of Home Affairs. If you can prove for instance, that whispering to trees to get them to produce more oxygen is an exceptional or special skill and needed in South Africa, you stand a good chance of securing an Exceptional Skills Work Permit. Having said that, there are plans to merge the Exceptional Skills Work Permit with the Quota Work Permit, thereby giving applicants a clearer idea of which exceptional skills count as scarce. At the same time there will be more control on how many foreigners have been allowed in the country.

If you have further questions about the requirements necessary to secure an Exceptional Skills Work Permit for South Africa, please follow the link.

4) Quota Work Permit South Africa

A Quota Work Visa or Permit is issued and granted by the South African Department of Home Affairs to a pre-determined number of foreign nationals who meet certain qualification requirements and/or a prescribed number of years of work experience. A position does not have to be advertised to enable an application for the Quota Work Permit in South Africa. The following categories have been created by the Department of Home Affairs, to enable foreign nationals to work in South Africa: Information and Organisation, Manufacturing and Construction, Natural and Physical Science, Biomedical Engineers and Technicians, Health, Education, Agricultural Science, Science, Building and Engineering, Manufacturing and Process, Fabrication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electro Technology & Telecommunication, Jeweller, Information and Communication Technology.

Please follow the link, for more information on Quota Work Permits South Africa.

5) General Work Permit South Africa

An employee, who cannot meet any of the requirements for the work permits mentioned above, can apply for a General Work Visa. The company however must show proof that employment was offered to a South African citizen and that no local applicants could fill the position. An advertisement in the local press is required to prove the vacancy has been sufficiently advertised. The candidate also needs a SAQA Certificate confirming the candidate’s skills, reference letters, as well as proof of registration with a professional body. The General Work Permit is the most cumbersome permit to apply for, due to the fact that the vacancy has to be advertised before an application can be made.

Read more about the General Work Permit for South Africa here.

6) Additional Work Permit Options

Keep in mind there are quite a few foreign nationals in relationships with South African citizens or permanent residency holders. The candidate might qualify for a Life Partner Permit with work endorsement if he or she is in a relationship with a South African citizen or a permanent resident holder. In this case administration is minimal and the the job vacancy does not have to be advertised.

Click the link for questions and answers regarding the additional work permit options, such as the Life Partner Permit for South Africa with work endorsement, please follow the link to read more or contact us.

7) Internship Work Permit South Africa

Interns with foreign language skills eager to gain work experience in South Africa can add value to day-to-day business operations. Volunteer Work Permits, Exchange Permits and Visitor Permit with authorisation to work in South Africa, help companies to employ interns legally without involving too much administration or cost.

Should you have any questions regarding the work permits for foreign personnel, feel free to contact our qualified immigration practitioners.

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Michaela heads up the marketing department for Initiate Holdings. An expat herself she understands the unique challenges immigrants are facing in South Africa.

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