Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa

Knowing that there are numerous Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa can be exciting and full of surprises. Yet, it also includes the technicalities of obtaining a valid work visa.


Fortunately, obtaining a South African work visa is relatively simple. In this article, we will go over the various Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa, the qualities required, and where to direct your request.

Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa

South African work visas are decided by the Department of Home Affairs. Notwithstanding its idiosyncrasies, the immigration rules are generally comparable to those of many other countries.


Most people require a job offer in hand to receive a South African work visa; for extremely qualified candidates, there is the option to apply for a Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa, which permits successful applicants to hunt for jobs in South Africa after moving to the country.

Although there are no hard data on how many work visas are awarded each year, South Africa does host about three million immigrants, with 75% of these immigrants coming from Africa (primarily Mozambique, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe).

Europe is South Africa’s second-largest source of immigrants, with the majority coming from the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. It’s vital to note that the treatment of African immigrants, both by locals and by immigration officials, is vastly different (and generally harsher) than that of non-African immigrants.

Although South Africa does not have employment quotas based on job classifications, the government is seriously considering such a system.

Who is required to get Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa?

Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa

In general, anyone who is not a South African citizen or permanent resident requires a Work Visa Options for Job Seekers in South Africa.

Heavy-duty vehicle drivers from other southern African countries, anyone working for the Southern African Development Community or the United Nations, and foreign military members coming at the invitation of the South African National Defence Force are the only exceptions.

South Africa’s government has a list of visa-exempt nations and occupations. Make careful to read everything to see if any of the exemptions apply to you.

Depending on their skill set and whether they already have a job offer, certain applicants may find it easier to secure a visa.

Others, frequently from African countries or with less trained or semi-skilled employment experiences, may have a far more difficult time of it.

Types of work visas in South Africa

South African work visas are classified into three classes, according to the Department of Home Affairs. These are their names:

  • General Work Visa
  • Critical Skills Work Visa
  • Intra-company Transfer Work Visa

1. General Work Visa

The South African General Work Visa is intended for individuals who wish to work in South Africa for a specific employer. Before applying for this type of visa, you must have a job offer.

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Before this visa can be granted, your company must demonstrate that no suitable South African candidate could be located; this is the basis for hiring an immigrant. Meeting this criterion, however, can be inconsistent and may be dependent on the immigration officer working on the case.

Fortunately, most firms have had enough experience working with immigration authorities to create best practices for completing an application.

General Work Visa Prerequisites

  • application form completed
  • If relevant, a signed employment contract from a South African employer
  • Demonstrated skills and qualifications that match the job description
  • Evidence of qualifications translated into an official South African language and evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority Bank statements demonstrating your ability to maintain yourself until your income is received
  • Pay and perks should not be less than the South African average.
  • Medical report
  • Radiological report
  • You must have a police clearance from any place you’ve resided as an adult for more than 12 months.

How to apply for the General Work Visa

Your visa requirements can be found online at VFS Global, the Department of Home Affairs official gateway. You can book an appointment at your nearest South African embassy or consulate to finish the application.

Then, bring the essential documents to your visa application appointment.

Remember that giving biometric information, such as a photograph and fingerprints, is part of the procedure. Following your visa appointment, you will be given a reference number that will allow you to track the status of your application.

Processing dates vary depending on your embassy; some nations process applications in days, while others take several weeks. When your application is granted, you will be able to pick up your visa at your local consulate.

Costs for the General Work Visa

A General Work Visa application cost of R1,520 is required. VFS, on the other hand, levies an R1,550 service fee, bringing the total to R3,070. However, some consulates allow you to pay for your appointment while there, so make sure to check.

Generic Work Visa Duration

The General Work Visa is only valid for the term of the job contract, so make sure to clarify this with your employer. The maximum duration of these visas is five years. You are eligible for permanent residence after five years in South Africa.

Visa for Critical Skill Visa

The Critical Skills Visa is intended for applicants who have received training in occupations where there is a labour shortage in South Africa.

The Minister of Home Affairs publishes the employment fields in the Government Gazette.

You must produce proof from a relevant professional body that your qualifications and experience are appropriate for fields that have professional guilds or bodies.

Because of the South African government’s emphasis on skill shortages, your application is likely to be approved provided all of your documents are in order.

Also, you do not need a job offer to apply for a Critical Skills Visa; If you do not have a job offer, you may apply for a one-year visa to work in South Africa.

Criteria for the Critical Skills Visa

  • application form completed
  • If relevant, a signed employment offer
  • Skills and qualifications that have been demonstrated, including verification by any applicable professional bodies
  • Qualifications proof translated into an approved South African language and assessed by the South African Qualifications Authority
  • You must obtain a police clearance from any place you have lived as an adult for more than 12 months.
  • Medical report
  • Radiological report
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How to apply for the Critical Skills Visa

VFS Global has your required documentation for the Critical Skills Visa online. But, it is still a good idea to phone or visit your local embassy or consulate to find out their preferred application method; they can also give you a better estimate of processing dates for your type of application and any pitfalls to avoid.

They can also help you determine the optimum time to schedule your visa appointment. You must bring all of your paperwork and biometrics to your visa appointment.

You will then be given a reference number to track your application. Once your visa has been issued, you can return to the embassy or consulate to pick it up one last time.

Costs for the Critical Skills Visa

A Critical Skills Visa application fee of R1,520 is required. VFS charges the same R1,550 service cost as the General Work Visa, increasing the total to R3,070. Check with your consulate to determine whether you may make a payment in person.

Validity of Critical Skills Visa

If you have a work offer, your Critical Skills Visa will be valid for the duration of your employment agreement. Your visa will expire after one year if you do not have a job offer.

The objective behind the one-year validity period is that successful applicants use that year to look for work and then renew their visas to fit the length of the contract. Critical Skills Visas, like Ordinary Work Visas, are only valid for a maximum of five years.

Intra-company Transfer Work Visa

An Intra-company Transfer Work Visa is suited for employees of multinational corporations who will be stationed in South Africa by their employer.

Companies do not need to prove that they sought out a sufficiently qualified individual from South Africa for the post to qualify for this work visa; however, the applicant must have worked for the company for at least six months before applying for this visa.

Intra-company Transfer Work Visa Requirements

  • application form completed
  • Employment contract signed
  • Statement from the employer indicating that the applicant will be assigned to a South African branch
  • Letter from the South African branch of the organization confirming that the candidate will be posted in their office
  • Police clearance from any place you have lived as an adult for longer than 12 months
  • Medical report
  • Radiological report

How to apply for an Intra-company Transfer Work Visa

The necessary documentation is available online at VFS Global, but you should also consult with your local embassy and your employer’s immigration affairs department. This gives you a clear picture of the requirements you must meet.

You can find out what processing times to expect from your local embassy or consulate. Candidates attend their appointment at the embassy or consulate to submit documents and gather biometric data.

When your application is complete, the office assigns you a reference number so that you can follow it.

When your visa is ready, go back to the embassy or consulate and pick it up.

Intra-company Transfer Work Visa costs

An Intra-company Transfer Work Visa costs the same as other work visas: R1,520 application fee plus R1,550 service fee (R3,070 in total). Check with the embassy in your area to see whether you may pay in person.

Intra-company Transfer Work Visa Validity

Intra-company Transfer Work Visas have a four-year maximum validity period. This visa is not extendable or renewable. But, in some cases, a completely fresh application might be submitted after the four-year deadline.


Finally, the Department of Home Affairs is in charge of visas and permissions. If your visa application is denied, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to determine your future steps.

When an application is denied, the applicant is given the rationale for the rejection as well as information on how to appeal. It could be as simple as giving documents that you failed to include, or it could be more involved. A lawyer can advise you on whether to file an appeal, file a new application, or drop the case entirely.



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