Services

South African
Immigration

We have a successful track record of assisting numerous individual and corporate clients from a multitude of jurisdictions [nationally and globally] in identifying the correct Temporary/Permanent residence visa/permit to be applied for, advising on the relevant requirements, assisting with the compilation of the application whilst ensuring statutory compliance and submission thereof. We also assist with overseas lodgements.

Contact us to set up a consultation.

Visitor Visa

Section 11(1) provides that a visitor’s visa may be issued to a foreign national in respect of visits to South Africa for a maximum period of three months. This visa can be extended for a further three month period but no extensions thereafter are permissible. The holder of such visitor’s visa may not conduct work. It is worthy of noting that requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country, and are subject to change. Beneath our news prompt we have provided a list of the countries that are currently visa exempt, but we do suggest that enquiries are made to ascertain whether or not a visa is required.

Under Section 11(2) of the Immigration Act an applicant is also entitled to apply for a visa authorisation from the relevant South African Embassy/High Commission in order to conduct certain work related activities. It is important to note that this is not a work visa and that it is only to address an immediate short term or urgent need for a limited duration of work related activity where an applicant cannot apply for a work visa. The authorisation cannot be used in place of a work visa for ongoing regular work activity.

The Immigration Act provides for different types of visitor categories exceeding three months up to a maximum of three years:

  • Academic sabbaticals
  • Voluntary or charitable activities
  • Research
  • Spouses and children accompanying their parents who are in South Africa on temporary residence visas
  • Teachers at international schools
  • For any work in films and advertisements produced in South Africa (including actors, camera men, hairstylist, makeup artists or lighting and sound engineers)
  • Foreign journalists sent to South Africa by foreign news agencies
  • Visiting professors or lecturers or academic researches
  • Artists who wish to write, paint or produce sculptures
  • For foreigners involved in the entertainment industry, travelling through South Africa to perform
  • Tour hosts and leaders
  • For foreigners required to remain in South Africa to testify as state witnesses in criminal court cases

Spouse / Life Partner of a South African citizen or South African permanent resident

The spouse / life partner of a South African citizen or permanent resident can apply for a Temporary Residence visa under the visitor’s visa category. This is obviously specifically based upon being able to prove the existence of a bona fide relationship and in the case of a life partner visa application duration of cohabitation is a factor. The holder of such visa is entitled to apply for the additional endorsement of work or self-employment.

We are geared in assisting with the drafting of Notarial Cohabitation Agreements and arranging for the Notarisation thereof.

Study Visa

Study visas are regulated by Section 13 of the Immigration Act read with enabling legislation.

An applicant must be in possession of an acceptance letter from the relevant educational institution in order to be able to apply for such category of visa. The letter must have certain stipulated inclusions therein for it to be compliant.

It is possible for the holder of a study visa to be able to conduct work on a part time basis for no more than twenty hours per week without having to possess a work visa.

The overriding consideration in processing applications for study visas are that:

  • No foreigner may displace a South African citizen/resident at a local educational institution
  • The student must have proof of sufficient funds to pay for day-to-day living expenses, accommodation as well as tuition fees during his/her stay in South Africa
  • The student must have adequate medical cover with a registered South African medical scheme and proof thereof

Spousal/Life Partner Visa

The spouse / life partner of a South African citizen or permanent resident can apply for a Temporary Residence visa. This is obviously specifically based upon being able to prove the existence of a bona fide relationship and in the case of a life partner visa application duration of cohabitation is a factor. Furthermore, the holder of such visa is entitled to apply for the additional endorsement of work or self-employment.

We are geared in assisting with the drafting of Notarial Cohabitation Agreements and arranging for the Notarisation thereof.

Relatives Visa

Relative visas are regulated by Section 18 of the Immigration Act, which may be issued for the prescribed period by the Director-General to a foreigner who is a member of the immediate family of a citizen or a permanent resident, provided that such citizen or permanent resident provides the prescribed financial assurance.

The financial assurance contemplated in section 18(1) of the Act shall be an amount, per person and per month, as determined from time to time by the Minister by notice in the Gazette, to be proven by means of a current salary advice or a certified bank statement not older than three months at the time of application.

The holder of a relative’s visa, apart from the spousal or life partner category, may not conduct work.

General Work Visa

A general work visa may be issued by the Director-General to a foreigner not falling within a category contemplated in subsection (4) and who complies with the prescribed requirements.

One such requirement that is to accompany the application is a certificate from the Department of Labour. The Labour Certificate is issued by the Department confirming, inter alia, that despite a diligent search the prospective employer has been unable to find a suitable SA citizen or permanent resident with qualifications or skills and experience equivalent to those of the applicant.

A General work Visas shall be issued for a period not exceeding 5 years

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 and complies with the prescribed requirements. The holder of such visa may conduct work only for that company and must act in accordance with the conditions set out in his or her visa.

Intra-company transfer work visas are issued for a period not exceeding four years and cannot be renewed or extended.

Business Visa (Temporary Residence Category)

Foreigners who are contemplating investing in the South African economy by establishing a business or by investing in an existing business in the country must apply for a business visa. In order to qualify for a visa in this category it is obligatory to show a prescribed financial contribution of at least R5 million from abroad into the South African enterprise.

Additional requirements for the business visa process would include the drawing up of a business plan in respect of the proposed business, employment of South African citizens where there would need to be an assurance provided that within 12 months of issuance of the visa at least 60% of the total staff complement employed are South African citizens or permanent residents, registration with the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), relevant professional body / board or council (where applicable) and undertakings to register with South African Revenue Service, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases.

Furthermore, a recommendation needs to be obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in respect of the feasibility of the business and the contribution of the business to the national interest of the Republic. There are a number of business sectors that have been deemed to be in the national interest by the Department of Home Affairs in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry and these business sectors may qualify for a reduction or waiver of the capital investment requirement:

  • Agro-processing
  • Business process outsourcing and IT enabled services
  • Capital/transport equipment, metals and electrical machinery apparatus
  • Electro technical
  • Textile, clothing and leather
  • Consumer goods
  • Boatbuilding
  • Pulp, paper and furniture
  • Automotive and components
  • Green economy industries
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Tourism Infrastructure
  • Chemicals, plastic fabrication and pharmaceuticals
  • Creative and design industry
  • Oil and Gas
  • Mineral beneficiation
  • Infrastructure development
  • Information Communication Technology

Investing in a South African business does not automatically assure the granting of such visa but requires the adherence and compliance with specified criteria.

It is also possible to obtain permanent residency through such category and in this regard we would gladly advise thereon.

Retired Person Visa

A foreigner may apply for temporary residence in this category on condition that they comply with the financial and other stipulated requirements provided for in section 20 of the Immigration Act, as amended, read with enabling legislation.

A foreigner must demonstrates that he or she is entitled to a pensions or irrevocable annuities from the country of his or her origin, or a combination of assets he or she may own, realizing no less than R37,000.00 per month. The amount required per month is determined from time to time by the Minister by notice in the Government Gazette.

The spouse and dependent children accompanying the holder of a retired person visa may be issued with an appropriate visa issued in terms of this Act.

Corporate Visa

A Corporate Visa allows a corporate entity such as a mining group, farmers and the like to employ a pre-determined number of skilled/semi-skilled/unskilled workers. Lately, Corporate Visas are being granted for corporate applicants considered to be in the National Interest.

The corporate applicant requires a recommendation from the Department of Trade and Industry and certificate from the Department of Labour which is a necessary requirement for the Corporate Visa.

A Corporate Visa is issued to the actual corporate applicant for a specified duration not exceeding three years and is only granted for a limited number of individual applicants to be employed. Once the company has received their Corporate Visa, the foreign individuals would need to apply for their own visas under the umbrella of the Corporate Visa as prescribed.

Exchange Visa

An application for an exchange visa is to accord with the stipulations embodied in section 22(a) of the Immigration Act, read with enabling legislation.

There are certain provisions that have to be complied with but the following overview has advisory relevance:

(a) an exchange visa may be issued by the Director-General to a foreigner participating in a programme of cultural, economic or social exchange, organised or administered by an organ of state or a learning institution, in conjunction with a learning institution or an organ of a foreign state;

(b) who is under 25 years of age and has received an offer to conduct work for no longer than one year. The applicant may not conduct work other than work for which the visa is issued.

An exchange visa may be issued for a period not exceeding the period of the exchange programme.

Medical Treatment Visa

A medical treatment visa is regulated by Section 17 of the Immigration Act and may be issued to a foreigner intending to receive medical treatment in the Republic for a maximum period of six months at a time.

The medical visa allows foreigners to stay in South Africa temporarily whilst undergoing treatment at their preferred medical institution. One of the obligatory requirements for the visa application is a letter from his or her South African registered medical practitioner or medical institution covering relevant prescribed particularity.

A medical treatment visa does not entitle the holder to conduct work while in the Republic.

Disclaimer

The information contained in our web pages is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Every situation / matter / case depends on its own set of facts and circumstances and specific legal advice should therefore be sought for your particular needs. Kraut Attorneys does not take any responsibility or accept any loss or damage, whether direct, indirect or consequential, which may arise from reliance on information contained on the web pages and actions or transactions resulting therefrom.

Kraut Attorneys cannot be held responsible for any errors, inaccuracy, omissions or misinterpretations.

Kraut Attorneys has taken reasonable measures to ensure the integrity of this web site, however no warranty is given that any downloads, files or the like are free of viruses which might have the ability to corrupt your system.