What is a South African work permit?
A South African permit allows the holder to reside permanently in South Africa. A South African work permit is one such issuance based on working for a stipulated duration within the Republic.
South Africa is a nation with a very diverse economy and a unique job market. The country begins to mature and to meet this growth expectation it is in need of experienced foreign nationals to fill critical skills gaps and help upskill the local job market. Making South Africa an attractive prospect for many foreign nationals with highly skilled expertise in a variety of disciplines.
Who is a South African Work permit for?
A South African work permit is for foreign nationals who are looking to work in South Africa for an extended period of time. A work permit also applies to those who already spent 5 consecutive years working in South Africa and wish to reside on a more permanent basis due to their job requirements.
How would I qualify for a work permit South Africa?
You must be the holder of 5 years’ worth of consecutively issued temporary general, quota or exceptional skills work visas. The holders of intra-company transfer visas can unfortunately not qualify for permanent residency on this basis so you would need to then apply for either a general work visa or a critical skills visa and hold it for 5 years consecutively.
While the work permit process can be quite a lengthy process, it is not very often a candidate gets turned down who meet the majority of the requirements.
What evidence should I provide?
You would need to provide your passport as an indication of all your previous and current work visas. If you are permanently employed or have an offer of permanent employment, your employer must provide a signed employment contract, salary benchmarking from the Department of Labour and a certification from a chartered accountant.
The Quota Work Permit & Exceptional Skills Work Permit
The Quota Permit and Exceptional Skills Permit no longer exists after changes to the Immigration Amendment Act of 2014 and has been replaced with the new Critical Skills Visas option.
For information on what positions are classed as critical in South Africa check our article here.
Pros of a South African Work Permit
- You will not need to reapply for a work visa
- The candidate does not need a formal qualification although it would certainly help drive the application process
Cons of a South African Work Permit
- Holders of an intra-company transfer visas can unfortunately not qualify for permanent residency
- You have to have been working in South Africa for 5 years consecutively
- You will need a signed employment contract, salary benchmarking from the Department of Labour and a certification from a chartered accountant.
Temporary Residency Option
Apply for a work visa if you’re looking to live and work in South Africa on a temporary basis