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South Africa Corporate Visa

The South African Corporate Visa is an immigration permission granted to businesses to allow for the provision of foreign workers to enter the county and carry out paid employment for them.

If your business employs or intends to employ foreign workers and will need them to work inside South Africa, Immigration Advice Service (IAS) can help you navigate the process. Contact our team now for more information on +44 (0)333 305 9375.


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    Benefits of Choosing IAS For Your Work Visa

    Our team of immigration lawyers can provide the right support to ensure you secure a work visa for yourself or your employees.


    Your immigration lawyer will consider your case and offer bespoke advice, and they will advise you on the optimum route to take to achieve your desired result.

    By working with IAS for your or your employee’s work visa, you make sure that you have an expert eye and hands on your case to boost your chances of success.

    We ensure you are applying for the most suitable work visa to boost your chances of success.

    We provide advice on the appropriate documentary evidence required to support your case.

    You get a personalised approach from a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer

    You work with you and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    South African Corporate Visa: An Overview

    When a South African registered company is unable to source all of the talent required for their operations within the country, they may apply for a South African Corporate Visa to import foreign employees from elsewhere in the world. 

    The South African Corporate Visa allows for the entry of a pre-determined number of skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled workers into the country for a period of no longer than three years. While approached in a group format by the corporate entity, details of the foreign employees to be brought into South Africa are provided as part of the visa application process, and they be individually granted or denied access.

    The visa application process for the South African Corporate Visa can be complex and should not be completed by anyone without the relevant knowledge or experience of immigration law, or it is likely to be declined. IAS’ team of immigration lawyers can help – call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more.

    Eligibility Criteria for a South African Corporate Visa

    In order to be eligible for a South African Corporate Visa, the corporate entity must submit several documents. It should be noted that this visa will:

    • Only be valid for foreign workers to stay in the country for up to three years
    • Only be valid for foreign workers to take up the stipulated job roles as listed in the application
    • Only be granted where a company has a Department of Labour certificate proving they have been unable to fulfil their recruitment needs with only South African citizens.

    The corporate certificate from the Department of Labour will only be granted where the South African company is able to provide the following:

    • That a diligent search has been made within South Africa for suitable employees amongst either citizens and/or permanent residents
    • A full job description and remuneration details for each requested foreign employee
    • Proof that the remuneration linked to each job role is of an appropriate market level compared to a citizen or permanent residents employed permanently in South Africa
    • Proof of the company’s registration with SARS (South African Revenue Service), UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund), CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission) and the Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases
    • A signed undertaking that a company representative will inform the Director General immediately if any foreign employee breached any visa conditions, leave the company or moves to another role
    • A signed undertaking that the company will pay any costs associated with the deportation of any foreign worker in the event this is required
    • Proof that at least 60% of the business’ total staff are either South African citizens or permanent residents – and that this requirement is maintained throughout the duration of the granted Corporate Visa.

    On an ongoing basis, the following requirements must be met by the employer:

    • All foreign workers must have a valid passport for their home country with them for the duration of their stay
    • All foreign workers must stay in the specific job role as stipulated in the Corporate Visa
    • All foreign workers must leave South Africa immediately after their work or the Corporate Visa comes to an end
    • If employment is terminated for any foreign employees covered by the Corporate Visa, the business must return the person’s completed certificate to the Department within 30 days.

    Required Documents for a South African Corporate Visa

    The employer, once they are sure they can meet the eligibility criteria for a South African Corporate Visa, must supply a variety of documents for their corporate visa application. Additional documents may be requested at any point during the corporate visa application, but as standard the document list is as follows:

    • An original, valid passport for each proposed foreign worker with at least two clear pages
    • Two passport photos for each proposed employee
    • Proposed employment contracts for every foreign worker and a list of the names corresponding to each role description
    • A copy of the Department of Labour certificate declaring the company’s eligibility
    • A completed DHA-1738 application form, signed by the corporate applicant
    • Confirmed medical report for each corporate applicant, no older than six months, including a yellow fever vaccination certificate if the applicant has travelled through, is from or intends to travel to or through a county in the yellow fever endemic zone.

    Once the company has received its South African Corporate Visa, each individual corporate applicant under its umbrella can then be processed.

    The South African Corporate Visa Application Process

    While every business works to their own idiosyncrasies and will follow a slightly different procedure dependent on the corporate applicant list being supplied and their own internal processes, the Corporate Visa application process can be considered as following:

    Apply for department of Labour certificate

    The Department of Labour certification declares the intention of the employer accepting responsibility for the foreign worker contingent to be employed and paid fairly, and that if any of the conditions of the Corporate Worker Visa is breached, they will report it to the South African Department of Home Affairs immediately. However, the process to apply for this certificate is complex and is considered entirely separate – albeit vital – to the South African Corporate Visa application process.

    For help with this, even if your business doesn’t require assistance with the rest of the South African Corporate Visa application process, contact IAS on +44 (0)333 305 9375 for support.

    Application lodged for the Corporate Workers Visa with the South African Department of Home Affairs

    Once the Department of Labour certificate has been granted, the company lodges an application for each foreign worker they wish to bring into South Africa. Full details of each individual and their proposed job role are provided.

    Applications processed by the South African Department of Home Affairs

    Each application is processed by the Department of Home Affairs on its own merits; so, some of the foreign worker contingent may be accepted, but anyone not eligible will be denied. This process can be lengthy, but the South African registered company may apply for an expedited service if required.

    Corporate Workers Visa granted: Foreign workers travel to South Africa

    When the South African Corporate Visa has been granted, the foreign worker contingent covered by the visa may travel to South Africa and begin their gainful employment right away.

    Should your business require specialist legal assistance with any stage of the South African Corporate Visa application process, IAS can help. Call our office today on +44 (0)333 305 9375  to speak to a specialist immigration lawyer.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your South Africa Corporate Visa.

    Why Work With IAS Lawyers for Your Corporate Immigration Needs?

    Our expertise and experience in business immigration is unrivalled, and our commitment to immigration law means we work on nothing else. There’s no ‘jack-of-all-trades’ in our offices – just experts.

    Contact the IAS team today for professional support with your business immigration needs, no matter how complex. We can manage multi-jurisdictional bulk applications or simple individual cases where required; there’s no job too big or too small for us! Contact our office today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 for a free chat with no obligation to proceed. We can maximize the chances of application success for your business and ensure you’re able to employ the talent you need.

    IAS’s Services Offered for South African Corporate Visas

    IAS are a firm of expert immigration solicitors who specialise in obtaining visas for corporate entities and individuals alike, worldwide. Our lawyers understand the intricacies of the South African immigration system, and can help your business import exactly the right talent for you.

    For the South African Corporate Visa, IAS’ services include:

    • Consultation and advisory services available for Corporate Visa applicants
    • Assistance with documentation and application submission for Corporate Visas
    • Post-visa services and support offered to Corporate Visa holders
    • Immigration strategy design for businesses looking to construct complex overseas worker scenarios; including restructuring
    • Multi-jurisdictional immigration assessments including thorough evaluations for both individual and group moves
    • Business travel advice and compliance guidance, country- and region-specific
    • Global immigration policy support
    • Eligibility assessments for professional individuals across jurisdictions
    • HR immigration compliance training
    • Advocacy and government liaison services.

    Our office is contactable on +44 (0)333 305 9375 for a free chat with no obligation to proceed.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    A yellow fever vaccination certificate must be provided along with the application for a South African Corporate Visa if the applicant is a citizen or permanent residence of any of the following countries:

    • Africa
      • Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda
    • Central and South America
      • Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

    The vaccination administered must be approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) and given a minimum of 10 days before departure.

    In some instances, the immigration authorities may refer an applicant’s qualification to the South African Qualifications Authority for verification. They will establish the relevancy and level of the qualification received abroad.

    An employment contract need not be signed ahead of the South African Corporate Visa application but must be legally sound under South African law – and must be signed by the individual before they commence employment with the South African registered company.

    While there is no formal requirement for corporate applicants to speak Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu or to sign South African Sign Language, immigration authorities may refuse an application if they believe the applicant unable to work because of their linguistics skills.

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