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Information on your General Work Visa in South Africa can be found here:

The General Work Visa is a temporary residence permit that allows foreigners to work for an employer, only if that employer has made every attempt to fill the vacant position with either a South African or a permanent resident holder.
This visa is the only option if you do not qualify for any of the other South African work visas.

Submit for a General Work Visa in South Africa – contact our immigration specialists today

To Qualify for a Work Visa – You need to have Secured Employment in South Africa



You can work a maximum of 20 hours per week on the Study Visa and you do not need a special permit to do so.

No, if you enter South Africa to do any time of work you must have an appropriate work visa. In this case, you would submit for a section 11(2) visa which is typically designed for punctual short work missions. What is considered as “work” is any activity, remunerated or not, which is in line with the usual activities performed in your work environment abroad.

There are different categories of work visas in South Africa which you could submit for: which one will fit you will depend on a lot of factors.

The work visas are:

  • ICT (Intra Company Transfer) visa: issued for 4 years, it is ideal for employees transferred from a company overseas to work at its South African branch for a fixed period of time and in a specific capacity. It is issued in the country of residence and not renewable.
  • Critical Skills visa: issued for 5 years, it is for people who have certain skills and qualifications deemed essential or “critical” to the economy of South Africa. It is linked with certain requirements such as a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) certification and a registration to a SAQA-recognised Professional Body in South Africa.
  • General Work visa: issued for 5 years, it is for employees who do not qualify for an ICT nor a Critical Skills visa. It is the most lengthy and most difficult to submit as the potential employer would have to prove that he/she cannot fill the position with a South African citizen or permanent resident (PR).

You can start your own business – or purchase an existing business – but for this you will need to submit for a Business Visa and it is issued initially for 3 years and is renewable.

It can take anything between 12 to 18 months and DHA in Pretoria adjudicates the permanent residence permit.

Your permanent residence will for example lapse if you leave the country for longer than 3 years consecutively.

The Adjusted Critical Skills List in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has published an update to the Critical Skills List, effective 2 August 2022 (note that a version published on 1 August 2022 was missing page 20). Corrections and minor changes are included, as well as substantial and welcome changes in the medical field.

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