THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF WORK PERMIT ARE AVAILABLE IN TERMS OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT (as amended)
Critical Skills Visa
General Work Visa
Intra-company Transfer Work Visa
Corporate Work Visa
CRITICAL SKILLS WORK VISA
This category of work visa may be issued to an applicant who falls within a specific professional category or specific occupational class determined by the Minister annually by notice in the Government Gazette. This is done after consultation with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Trade and Industry. For a list of the critical skills click here.
If an applicant falls within one of the professional categories listed on the critical skills list and also has the appropriate post qualification working experience in that profession then such applicant may qualify to apply for this category of work visa.
The applicant also needs to register with the relevant South African professional body as stipulated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Furthermore, such applicant’s qualifications need to be evaluated onto a South African level.
An applicant for a Critical Skills Visa may enter South Africa on such visa without having secured a job offer first. It is, however, required of the applicant to confirm employment with the Department of Home Affairs within a period of one (1) year upon arrival in South Africa, failing which, the permit would automatically lapse.
GENERAL WORK VISA
This category of work visa requires an applicant to be in possession of a written job offer and the following requirements would need to be complied with:
- The applicant’s qualifications would also need to be evaluated onto a South African level.
- The prospective employer would have to show that they advertised the position in the national printed media in accordance with certain requirements as laid out in our immigration laws. They would then have to motivate their appointment of the foreign national over any South African citizen or South African permanent resident that may apply.
- A Department of Labour report would need to be obtained.
INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER WORK VISA
An intra-company transfer work visa may be issued to a foreign national who is employed abroad by a company which also operates a branch, subsidiary or affiliate business in South Africa.
It is important to note that this category of work visa cannot be granted for more than four (4) years and this type of visa is not extendable.
A corporate visa may be issued to a corporate applicant after a recommendation has been granted by the Department of Labour and the Department of Trade and Industry. It is only then that an application can be made to the Department of Home Affairs for the actual corporate permit.
Corporate permits, by their very nature, are only granted to the actual corporate applicant and not to a third party company or “labour broker”. Corporate permits are, most recently, also only being granted for corporate applicants considered to be in the national interest.
In effect, this category of permit offers an “umbrella” licence to bring a certain number of foreign nationals into South Africa from within certain specific skill sets. The permit is granted for a specified duration and is only granted for a limited number of individual applicants to be employed.