Different types of Work visas for South Africa

Persons wishing to take up employment in South Africa can apply for a work visa in one of the following categories.


Intra-company transfer work visa

allows an employee to be transferred from an overseas branch to a South African branch for a period not exceeding 4 years. The application process for this type of permit is a straightforward one, which makes it relatively easy to obtain the permit. However, an intra-company permit cannot be renewed and is therefore only applicable for those requiring 4 years or less for work abroad. Applicants who are on a current ICT issued under the old law can apply for a new ICT, but submit this application overseas. It will then be issued for 4 years. Directive 19 of 2014 has clarified this.

A critical skills work visa

can be applied for by applicants who are in possession of critical skills that would benefit the South African environment in which one wishes to take up employment. The applicant will need to present a letter from the South African Qualifications Authority or SAQA confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant. Proof of evaluation of foreign qualifications by SAQA will also be required. Furthermore, an application for membership in South African professional body needs to submitted. A critical skills visa is normally issued for 5 years.

General work visa

If the above are not applicable, a general work visa will apply. A general work visa is a temporary residence that requires that the employer of the foreigner has made every attempt to fill the vacant position with either a South African citizen or permanent resident. Due to the pre-requisite of consulting the Department of Labor, this GWV can take substantially longer and must be seen as a last option.

Spouses/partners are allowed to travel with the applicant of the general work visa, but will not be allowed to work themselves. General work visas are typically valid for up to 5 years.

A corporate visa

is applicable in cases where an employer wishes to employ a large number of foreign workers in a limited time period. The application process is long and intricate, and a corporate visa should only be considered should you require many foreign employees over a certain time period.


Our services

IBN Business & Immigration Solutions offers a full range of immigration services including the facilitation of entry visas, all types of temporary and permanent residence permits, permits for the accompanying family as well as document procurement and translation.

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