South Africa employment visas

South Africa employment visas

After incorporating a company in South Africa (SA), entrepreneurs may require visa solutions for them to reside and work in the country. Healy Consultants will assist our Clients in obtaining the relevant visas from the South Africa Department of Home Affairs. The most common visa solution requested by our Clients are i) business visas and ii) general work visas.

Business visa

Business visas qualifications for foreign entrepreneurs in South Africa

  • Entrepreneurs will need this visa to be employed in his or her business. To apply for a business visa, entrepreneurs can i) establish a business or ii) invest in an existing business in the country;
  • To qualify, the business must make significant contributions into the SA economy. These contributions come in the form of i) cash to be invested into the Republic, ii) capital contributions, iii) undertaking that at least 60% of the employees in the business are SA citizens and iv) undertaking to register with several SA institutions. The minimum requirement for cash investment and capital contribution are determined from time to time by the Minister but generally, capital of US$200,000 is recommended;
  • Capital requirements may be waived or reduced for several industries such as infocomm, textile technology and agro-processing metals;
  • Documents for application include i) certificate of capital injection by chartered accountant, ii) recommendation from Department of Trade regarding feasibility of business and iii) above mentioned undertakings.

General work visa

  • Foreigners who wish to work in SA may apply for the general work visas. This visa is valid for the duration of the employment but not exceeding 5 years. Application can be made through visa facilitation services centers (VFS) or at any SA embassy and may take 6-8 weeks;
  • However, employers must first prove that no qualified SA citizen are available to fill the position and prospective employers need a certificate from the Department of Labour that steps have been taken to consider SA citizens for the position;
  • Documents required include i) application form, ii) valid passport through employment, iii) proof of financial means, iv) medical reports, v) undertakings by employer and vi) proof of qualifications amongst others.

Critical skills work visa

  • These visas are for highly skilled professionals who want to work in SA. The validity of the visa is capped at 5 years. Application can be made through VFS or at any SA embassy and may take 6-8 weeks;
  • The visa is issued in accordance to the critical skills list, applicant must possess the skills and qualification listed to qualify for the visa. Examples of qualifications listed are i) engineers, ii) software developers, iii) external auditors and iv) pharmacist;
  • Documents required for critical skills visa is similar to the general work visa.

To visit South Africa for a shorter duration for business purposes, entrepreneurs may consider the following:

Visitors’ visa

  • Foreigners may enter SA for business purposes for a period of 90 days of less using the visitors’ visa. Application is made at any SA embassy and cost of visa issuance differ for different countries. Passport holders of certain nations are exempt from holding a visa for stay of less than 90 days;
  • Documents required for the visa include i) passport with more than 30 days validity after departure date, ii) application form BI-84, iii) documents confirming purpose and duration of visit, iv) return or onward travel ticket and v) proof of financial means.

Contact us

For additional information on our employment visa and migration services in South Africa, please email us at Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Paavan Chhabra, directly:
client relationship officer - Paavan