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How to apply for a General Work Visa for South Africa

On this page, we will explain who qualifies for the General Work Visa for South Africa, the requirements which must be met, and the application process. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers, and solicitors in London, on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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South Africa is an undeniably beautiful country with stunning scenery and wildlife, amazing food, a rich blend of cultural influences, and warm sunny weather. Within the African region, South Africa has one of the largest economies, offering a great deal to foreign. It is now expected that following the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa will experience sustained growth between 2021 and 2026, which will provide increased opportunities for domestic and international workers. South Africa also has a diverse economy in a range of industries, including mining, manufacturing, technology, financial services, iron and steel, tourism, and is increasingly seen as a burgeoning ‘knowledge economy’. On this page, we will explain who qualifies for the General Work Visa for South Africa, the requirements which must be met, and the application process.

What is the General Work Visa for South Africa?

General Work Visas for South Africa enable foreign migrant workers with an offer of employment to work in the country on a temporary basis. South African work visas are typically granted for the same duration as the applicant’s contract of employment, up to a maximum of five years.

The General Work Visa is one of several types of work visa for South Africa, with the others including the Critical Skills Work visa, entrepreneur visa, and the intra-company visa.

Am I eligible for a General Work Visa for South Africa?

In order to secure a General Work Visa for South Africa, a job offer is mandatory. Beyond this, there are two aspects to eligibility for a General Work Visa. Firstly, the Department of Labour (DOL) has to confirm that there is no South African citizen or permanent resident in the country who can do the job being offered to a foreign national. DOL also need to be satisfied that:

  • the overseas national has the qualifications/skills/experience required for the job
  • the pay and benefits being offered is in line with that given to local workers
  • the contract of employment is made conditional on holding a General Work Visa

Assuming that the DOL approves the hiring of an overseas worker, to make a successful application for a General Work Visa for South Africa, candidates must:

  • Meet the medical requirements (applicants may need to have a medical examination to meet this requirement)
  • Provide evidence of police clearance
  • Provide proof of their qualifications

How do I apply for a General Work Visa for South Africa?

The application process for a General Work Visa for South Africa is managed by VFS Global, but the decision on your General Work Visa will be made by the South African Department of Home Affairs. The following are the main steps involved in applying for and securing a General Work Visa for South Africa:

Step 1) Apply for a General Work Visa in South Africa online through VFS Global.

Step 2) Pay the required application fees and book an appointment at a Visa Facilitation Centre

Step 3) Prepare and check the documents required to support your application – depending on your circumstances, these may include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Completed application form
  • Passport
  • Receipt/s of application fee payment
  • A vaccination certificates
  • Evidence of sufficient funds (typically R3000,) to support yourself while in South Africa – e.g., bank statements, cash, or travellers’ cheques
  • Medical and radiology reports where required
  • A police clearance certificate from each country in which you have been resident, resided for 12 months or longer since the age of 18 years
  • A written undertaking by the employer accepting responsibility for the costs related to the possible deportation of the applicant
  • A certificate from the Department of Labour
  • Proof of qualifications evaluated by SAQA and translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of the Republic
  • A contract of employment signed by both the applicant and the employer.
  • Full details of the employer, including proof of registration with the Registrar of Companies
  • An agreement by the employer to inform the Director-General if the employment circumstances of the foreign worker change – i.e., if they leave their role, change jobs, or change employer.
  • All required documentation for a spouse and/or children if they intend to accompany you

You will be advised which documents to provide with your application, however, if you are unsure, or you wish to have your application form and supporting documents checked, speak to an immigration lawyer specialising in South African immigration law.

Step 5) Attend your appointment at a VFS Global Visa Facilitation Centre – you will need to take with you your appointment letter, printed online application form, proof of payment and supporting documents, along with a valid passport or travel document.

Step 6) You will need to enrol your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) at the Visa Facilitation Centre.

Step 7) Wait for your application to be processed

The progress of your application can be tracked on your VFS Global online account. Your application decision can be collected in person or by a representative from the Visa Facilitation Centre (you will need to take your original passport with you as proof of identity). For more details regarding what happens once you have submitted your application and collecting your visa documents, please see the VFS Global website.

Reiss Edwards have the resources and expertise to assist with all aspects of South Africa immigration. If you need assistance with your General Work Visa for South Africa or any other immigration matter, contact our Immigration Solicitors on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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