How do I obtain a work permit?

Work permits or temporary visas for work are issued  by the Department of Home Affairs. Applications for temporary residence visas are processed and finalised at the foreign offices of the Department of Home Affairs, and you should make travel arrangements only once the visa has been approved.The types of visa are:

  • General Work Visas are issued to foreigners where it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that South African citizens and permanent residents with the relevant qualifications or skills and experience are not available for appointment.
  • From time to time the Minister of Home Affairs publishes a critical skills list in a Government Gazette. Toapply for a critical skills visa, you must provide proof of qualifications.
  • Occasionally, multi-national companies may decide to transfer an existing employee in a key position from a foreign branch to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of that company in South Africa. Such employees must apply for intra-company transfer work permits.