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Three visa streams to consider when hiring your foreign staff

For this purpose the government published a critical skills list earlier this year listing more than 200 specialized occupations which have been identified as being needed to ensure progress and growth in the country.

Three Visa Streams To Consider When Hiring Your Foreign Staff

To legally work in South Africa expats and migrants must hold a valid work visa. South Africa offers three options:

1. The General Work Visa

This is the standard work visa type that most countries have. You will need to show some sort of proof that this applicant is filling a gap in your company that almost no other South African can. This is done through newspaper adverts and a host of other things and in short, yes, this visa type is the most costly, time-consuming and arduous of the three. Both the company and the applicant need to undergo effort in this visa’s process.

Some of the 18 requirements needed to qualify for this visa involves obtaining a vaccination certificate, proof of financial means to cover envisaged living expenses, bank statements, and a certificate by the Department of Labour stipulating the salary earned by employees occupying similar positions in the Republic of South Africa.

2. Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa

This visa is specifically design for use by companies which have a branch in South Africa and abroad. An internationally based employee could, with this visa, be transferred to South Africa for a limited time period. This option is not extendable and has many limitations, and won't allow the employee to apply for permanent residency in the country. It is an easier process, yet requires that the employee has been working in the overseas branch for at least six months. Intra-Company Transfer permits are only valid for four years and cannot be extended.

3. Critical Skills Work Visa

For this visa an applicant, whose occupation is listed as a critical skill, can apply for this visa. The applicant will have to provide sufficient proof that they hold the skills, experience and qualifications required for a specific occupation. This options is thus the most ideal in terms of speed, cost and timing. Employer should however take note that expats or migrants who hold this visa are not required to remain with their original employer and may change between employers as long as they are still employed in the occupation for which the visa was granted.

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