Africa is a dynamic if troubled continent with South Africa one of it’s leading countries. This makes South Africa desirable for many. South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa has, however, announced stronger border control. As a result, it is best that you know what you need to enter South Africa. Here are a few updated regulations:-

The Visitor’s Visa

South African Immigration Law stated that it is not possible to change from a visitor’s visa to another visa while in South Africa. However, a few months ago, the Constitutional Court deemed this law unconstitutional as it separates families. The Constitutional Court has given The Department of Home Affairs two years to amend this law and make it more inclusive. In the interim, foreign partners and children of South African citizens can stay in South Africa under the premise of ‘exceptional circumstances’ while changing their visa status until the new law is passed.

Business Visas

It is now necessary for a business to get a letter of recommendation from The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). A minimum of R5 million must be invested into the book value of the business. Any professional South African accountant can verify the availability of funds whereas before it had to be a chartered accountant. A business visa will not be granted for longer than 3 years at a time. Sixty percent of the business’s workforce should be South African or must be a permanent resident. A business visa will not be issued to a business regarded as an undesirable undertaking.

Intra-company Visas

The intra-company visa is now available for 4 years but is non-renewable. The employee in question must be with the foreign company for at least 6 months before becoming eligible for this visa to work in South Africa.

Study Visa/ Exchange Visa

Study visas and exchange visas will only be valid for the duration of study or exchange programme. One with a study visa can do part-time work for no more than 20 hours per week. One with an exchange visa (for persons under 25 years of age) will not get work if it is listed as an undesirable by the Department of Trade and Industry.

General Work Visa

The work visa will be valid for at least 5 years. The applicant will have to get a certificate from the Department of Labour confirming the following:- that after an intensive search a South African employee could not be found with the relevant skills and experience. Also, the applicant has the skills and experience for the position. Furthermore, the wages and benefits must not be inferior to that of a South African. Lastly, the certificate should show that the contract signed by both the employer and applicant are in alignment with South African Labour Law. The applicant will also need a document to prove that their qualifications have been approved by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). This document must be translated into one of South Africa’s official languages by a sworn translator.

Critical Skills Work Visa

This visa replaced the Exceptional Skills and Quota Visas. This visa is based on a list of occupations that are considered critical in South Africa. You do not need a job offer but must show within a year that you are gainfully employed within your special field.

Retired Person’s Visa

Applicants for the Retired Person’s visa will have to prove a monthly income of ZAR37 000 a month. Alternatively, they can show a capital sum in the bank of ZAR444 000 per annum.

Asylum Transit Visa

An Asylum Transit Visa is given at port of entrance to South Africa and is valid for 5 days giving one enough time to report to the closest Refugee Reception Office.

These are only some of the updates, for more updates or information on South African Immigration Laws please contact Visa Immigration SA for immediate assistance.