South Africa Work Visa

Tetra Consultants assists our international clients to apply for South Africa work visa. Our service package includes South Africa company registration, work visa applications, and opening local or international corporate bank accounts. Tetra Consultants is the one-stop solution for you to legally start business in South Africa.


Company Registration

4 Weeks

Local Director?


Bank Account Opening

4 Weeks

Travel Required?



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    South Africa Work Visa: Introduction

    South Africa Work Visa application is hassle-free with Tetra Consultants’ assistance.

    Tetra Consultants will explore the types of work visas, when you would need one, and how you can go about applying for one. The application process can be hassle-free if you fully understand it. With Tetra Consultants at the wheel, you will be able to dedicate your time and resources to other more important business matters.

    With our lean-and-mean mentality, you can rely on our team of experts to provide you a seamless experience throughout the whole process of work visa application. Our ultimate goal is for your visa to be obtained within the stipulated time frame.

    Overview of types of South Africa Work Visa


    • Foreign travelers originating from countries that qualify for visa-free entry into South Africa do not need a visa if they are travelling for leisure purposes or only wish to stay for a short period of time. If your country does not qualify for visa-free entry and you are travelling for leisure purposes for less than 90 days, you can register for Visitor Visa.
    • To check whether your country qualifies for visa-free entry, you can visit the Department of Home Affairs website. Typically, foreigners that qualify for visa-free entry are allowed to stay for 30 or 90 days, depending on their country of origin.
    • Those intending to remain in the nation for a duration longer than 1 month or 3 months will need to acquire a temporary residence visa. The type of visa applied will depend on your purpose of stay.
    • Generally, if you wish to work in the country, you will need a Business Visa, General Work Visa, Critical Skills Work Visa or Intra-company Transfer Work Visa. Alternatively, your company may apply for an authorization certificate for you under the Corporate Visa.
    • You can attain a South Africa temporary residence visa through the South African diplomatic representative in your country or a Visa Facilitation Centre in South Africa. Once your temporary residence visa has been issued, you can make arrangements to travel.

    Corporate Visa

    • The Corporate Visa is the only type that is not issued to an individual but instead to a business entity so that it can hire foreign employees.
    • If the Corporate Visa is approved, the Department of Home Affairs will issue it to the company and authorization certificates for each foreign employee. The Corporate Visa is valid for up to 3 years. Employees’ authorization certificates will expire when the Corporate Visa expires.
    • To secure a Corporate Visa, the company must submit the following documents:
      • Application form
      • Evidence proving that there is a need to employ foreign workers as well as the number of foreigners to be employed
      • Certificate by the Department of Labour
      • Proof of registration of the corporation with the relevant government entities
      • Proof that at least 60% of total employees are South African citizens and permanent residents in various positions
      • Job scope and remuneration of each foreign employee
      • An undertaking to ensure that:
        • Each foreign employee has a valid passport.
        • Each foreign employee will be employed only in the position specified by the visa.
        • Each foreign employee will leave the nation once employment ends.
        • A cash deposit or guarantee for the foreign employee may be payable by the business or worker in the case of a skilled worker.

    Business Visa

    • Foreigners who wish to enter South Africa to invest in the country or set up a local business can choose to apply for this.
    • A foreigner with a Business Visa in South Africa can study part-time, without obtaining further permission from the Department of Home Affairs.
    • The requirements are as follows:
      • A certificate issued by a Chartered Accountant or a Professional Accountant registered with the South African Institute of Professional Accountants to prove that you have at least R5,000,000 in cash to be invested in the country.
      • A recommendation letter written by the local Department of Trade and Industry. The contents of the letter must cover how the intended business will help to promote the country’s national interest, as well as the viability of the business activities.
      • An undertaking that at least 60% of the total employees employed will be South African citizens or permanent residents.
      • An undertaking to register with the following government services:
        • South African Revenue Service
        • Unemployment Insurance Fund
        • Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases
        • Relevant professional body, board or council approved by the South African Qualifications Authority, in accordance with section 13(1)(i) of the National Qualifications Framework Act, if applicable.

    General Work Visa

    • General Work Visas are issued to foreigners who are employed in a South African company.
    • The General Work Visa is issued for a period of up to 5 years.
    • A local company can only employ a foreigner if it is unable to find South African citizens or permanent residents with the relevant qualifications, skills or experience.
    • Before a foreign employee applies for a general work visa, his/her prospective employer must apply to the Department of Labour for a certificate to verify the following information:
      • The prospective employer has not been able to find a suitable candidate with qualifications, skills or experience equivalent to those of the foreign employee despite diligent search.
      • The foreign employee has qualifications or proven skills and experience required for the job.
      • The salary and benefits accorded to the foreign employee are not lower than the average salary and benefits accorded to local citizens with similar jobs.
      • The employment contract is aligned with labour standards locally.
      • Proof of qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) that is translated into one of the official languages of the nation.
      • Full particulars of the prospective employer

    Critical Skills Work Visa

    • The Critical Skills Work Visa is issued to foreigners with a specific skillset for 1 year. The duration can be increased for up to 5 years.
    • To qualify for the Critical Skills Work Visa, the applicant must have his/her qualification(s) translated into one of the official South African languages  and evaluated by the SAQA.
    • The applicant must also obtain written confirmation(s) from a professional body, council or board recognised by the SAQA or any relevant government department to verify the skills or qualifications of the applicant.
    • In the event that your job requires a professional certificate or license, your application must then contain proof of an application made for a certificate of registration with the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA.

    Intra-company Transfer Work Visa

    • Besides granting the applicant the rights to work in South Africa, this visa also allows applicants to study part-time without obtaining further permission from the Department of Home Affairs.
    • When multi-national companies decide to transfer an existing employee in a key position from a foreign branch to a branch, subsidiary or affiliate company in South Africa, they must secure an intra-company transfer work permit for that employee.
    • The employee must be employed in the company outside his/her home country for at least six months before being transferred to South Africa.
    • The company must also show that it has a plan to transfer the skills of the foreign employee to a South African citizen or permanent resident.
    • An Intra-company Transfer Work Visa will be issued for up to 4 years and cannot be renewed. The employee must re-apply again if he/she wishes to continue to work in South Africa.

    Study Visa

    • Students studying in an eligible educational institution in South Africa can apply for a Study Visa.
    • Holders of a Study Visa must prove that they are enrolled in a registered medical scheme, unless they are registered with their parent’s health insurance and their parent is a valid visa holder.

    Exchange Visa

    • Students on exchange programmes organized in conjunction with an educational institution in South Africa can choose to apply for Exchange Visa in South Africa.
    • The applicant must submit a confirmatory letter from his/her learning institution and the Department of Basic Education or the Department of Higher Education and Training respectively.

    Retired Person Visa

    • A person who wishes to retire in South Africa can choose to apply for a retired person visa.
    • The applicant must receive at least R37 000 per month from a pension fund or an irrevocable retirement annuity or has sufficient assets that is capable of granting a minimum monthly amount of R37 000.

    Relative Visa

    • The immediate family of a citizen or permanent resident in South Africa can apply for a Relative Visa to reside in South Africa.
    • The applicant must prove that he/she is financially capable through information on current salary or a recent certified bank statement. The applicant must prove that he/she has at least R8,500 per month to support himself/herself.
    • Financial assurance is not necessary if the applicant is a child.

    Medical Treatment Visa

    • Foreigners seeking medical treatment in South Africa can apply for a Medical Treatment Visa.
    • It is issued for a period of 6 months.
    • The applicant must provide a letter from his/her medical practitioner or medical institution within South Africa verifying the following information:
      • Sufficiency of space in the medical institution
      • Estimated cost of the treatment
      • Whether or not the disease is treatable
      • Schedule of the treatment
      • Intended period of treatment in South Africa

    Documents required for South Africa work visa application

    • Generally, the documents required to apply for a temporary residence visa in South Africa are as listed below, with the exception of Medical Treatment Visa. Additional documents with regards to your employment, skill level or learning institution will be required if you are travelling to South Africa for study or work purposes.
      • A passport valid for at least 30 days after the end of the intended visit
      • Copies of all approved temporary residence visas in the passport
      • Processing fee
      • 1 recent passport-sized colour photograph
      • A yellow fever vaccination certificate (if the applicant has travelled through or is intending to travel through the yellow fever belt area)
      • Police clearance certificate
      • Medical and radiology reports
      • Birth certificate
      • Proof of custody or adoption of a minor, if applicable
      • Consent from the parents of a minor, if applicable
      • A marriage certificate, if applicable

    Looking to obtain a South Africa work visa?

    FAQs about South Africa work visa

    How do I get a work visa in South Africa?

    • To apply for a work visa in South Africa, you can submit the relevant documents to the South Africa embassy in your country or the nearest South African diplomatic representative in a neighbouring country if there is no South Africa embassy in  your country. Alternatively, if you are in South Africa, you can visit the Visa Facilitation Centre to apply for a visa.

    How long do South Africa work visas last?

    • The Business Visa is issued for up to 3 years; the General Work visa is issued for up to 5 years; the Critical Skills Visa can be extended for up to 5 years; the Intra-company Transfer Work Visa is issued for up to 4 years; the authorization certificates for foreign employee under the Corporate Visa is issued for up to 3 years or until the expiration of the visa.

    What is the cost of a South Africa visa?

    • Generally, the fee for a work visa such as General Work Visa and Critical Skills Work Visa is R1,520. The visa fees for a Visitor Visa, Exchange Visa, Study Visa and Medical Treatment Visa are R425.

    How do I apply for permanent residence in South Africa?

    • To be eligible for permanent residence in South Africa, you must have resided in South Africa for at least 5 years on the basis of a work permit. Dependents of South African citizens or permanent residents can also apply for permanent residence in South Africa.
    • If you have met the eligible criteria, you can apply for South Africa permanent residency by completing the application Form BI-947 and submitting the relevant documents such as a police clearance certificate, marriage certificate and proof of custody to the Department of Home Affairs.

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