The Aliens Control Act of 1991 prescribes that the
application for work permits must be made in the applicant’s country of origin
or residence before entering South Africa. The application should be lodged
with the South African diplomatic mission nearest to the place where the
foreigner is residing. Provision is made for the issue of a work-seeker’s
permit should the applicant wish to first seek employment in South Africa
before formally applying for a work permit. As in the case of a work permit,
application should be made from outside the Republic. Work permits are issued
for twelve months only.
Conditions and requirements for permits according to the
Immigration Amendment Act, 19 of 2004:
A certificate from a registered chartered accountant
(South Africa) is a fundamental requirement for an application and this should
show the following:
• At least R2,5
million in cash;
• Capital contribution
of at least R2,5 million;
• At least R2
million in cash and a capital contribution of R500 000 originating from
• Business plan
outlining short and long term feasibility;
• Proof of undertaking
to employ at least five South African citizens/residents; and
to register with the South African Revenue Services and proof of registration with
a relevant body, board or council.
The validity period of a business permit can be determined
by the extent of sustainability of the business (but not less than 24 months);
and for as long as the holder submits proof every 24 months to show that he/ she
continues to qualify for the permit. In addition, the family of a business
permit holder may be issued with appropriate permits.
A quota work permit may be issued to a foreigner who
falls within a specific professional category or occupational class. The determining factor for quotas is the
scarcity of the skills in South Africa. The application must be accompanied by
a confirmation of qualifications and proof of compliance/registration requirements
with a relevant professional body.
On the other hand, the general work permit is determined
by the following:
- Signed contract
- Proof of qualifications evaluated by South African Qualifications
- Proof of experience and skills in line with job offer;
from previous employers and comprehensive
letter stating why South African citizens/residents
could not fill the position including
particulars of successful candidates;
- Letter of motivation
indicating how one’s exceptional skills will benefit the South African
environment where one intends to operate;
- Proof of advertisement in
national print media;
- If required
by law proof of registration with relevant body, council or board;
- Full particulars
of employer, including (if applicable)
proof of registration with Registrar of Companies; and
from the Department of Labour or bench-marking organization stipulating the
average salary earned by employees occupying similar positions.
INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER PERMIT
The requirements for the intra-company transfer permit include the following:
- Contract of employment with company abroad;
- A foreigner must submit letter from company abroad as well as in South Africa confirming the transfer; and
- Confirm that the South African company does exist, that the nature of business is similar, or the occupation applied for is the same as abroad.
FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BOTH TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT RESIDENCE
- Police clearance;
- Medical and radiological reports in respect of each applicant (not applicable to minors under 12);
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate if applicant(s) traveled or intends traveling from or through a yellow fever endemic area; and
- Valid passport, if required, a valid visa.
The direct residence permit may be issued to a foreigner who:
- Has been a holder of a work permit for 5 years and offered permanent employment;
- Has been a spouse of a citizen/permanent resident and must be in a good spousal relationship for a period of five years prior to application;
- Is a child of a citizen; and
- A foreigner who is a spouse of a citizen/permanent resident may be issued a visitors permit.
RESIDENCE ON OTHER GROUNDS
Residence may be issued to a foreigner:
- Of good and sound character (determined through police and security reports);
- Who receives an offer for permanent employment;
- Who possesses extra-ordinary skills;
- Who invests or has invested in South Africa;
- Who intends to retire in South Africa and has a minimum net worth;
- Who has been certified to be a refugee indefinitely; and
- Who is a relative within the first step of kinship.
ARE EXCHANGE CONTROL
REGULATIONS IMPOSED IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Yes. These restrict the outward flow of capital and
income of South African residents, as well as regulate foreign investment.
HOW ARE THE EXCHANGE
CONTROL REGULATIONS ADMINISTERED?
The commercial banks deal with their day-to-day
application as agents of the South African Reserve Bank (SARS, the central
bank). More complex matters are referred to SARS itself.
HOW DO THE EXCHANGE
CONTROL REGULATIONS AFFECT FOREIGN INVESTORS?
Foreign-owned entities in South Africa are subject to
certain restrictions on their local borrowing (except for ordinary trade
WHEN SHOULD EXCHANGE
CONTROL APPROVAL BE OBTAINED?
In general, approval should be obtained in advance of the
transaction concerned through a commercial bank in South Africa. However, non-residents
may freely trade in securities listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange,
without approval, using financial Rands.