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How to apply for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa for South Africa

On this page, we will explain who qualifies for the Intra-Company Transfer 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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Many of the world's largest organisations and brands have a business presence in South Africa, including BMW, Volkswagen, General Electric, Barclays, Vodafone, Alcatel, Cisco, EDS, Hertz, Levis and many more. For businesses with a global presence, being able to send staff from one country to work in another is vital. This is referred to as ‘global mobility’. From an immigration standpoint, global mobility is made possible through the granting of intra-company visas to workers from one country who need to work on a temporary basis in another country in which their employer has a branch or subsidiary. The South African Department of Home Affairs that handles immigration in South Africa offers an Intra-company transfer (ICT) visa for this exact purpose. On this page, we will explain who qualifies for the Intra-Company Transfer Visa for South Africa, the requirements which must be met, and the application process.

What is the Intra-Company Transfer Visa for South Africa?

The South African ICT visa is used by multinational companies who wish to transfer an existing employee from a foreign branch to a branch in South Africa on a purely temporary basis. If granted, ICT visas in South Africa have a maximum duration of four years and cannot be renewed or extended.

The Intra-Company Transfer 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 General Work visa. If an intra-company transferee plans to stay for longer than three years, they either need to apply for a different visa type or submit a new application for an ICT visa.

Am I eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa for South Africa?

ICT visa applicants must have been employed by an overseas employer with a branch or subsidiary in South Africa for at least six months. As such, they must be paid by the overseas parent company and report directly to them. Anyone who is paid by a South African business needs to apply for a work visa instead. In addition, ICT visa applicants may also need to provide evidence of the following in order to be eligible:

  • A medical and radiological assessment
  • Police clearance from each country in which you have lived for more than one year since the age of 18 years
  • Sufficient funds to pay for a return ticket when you are required to return home

How do I apply for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa for South Africa?

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

Step 1) Apply for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa in South Africa online through VFS Global.

Step 2) Pay the required application fees and book an appointment at a VFS Global 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 online application form.
  • Passport.
  • A medical and radiological report.
  • Police clearance certificate issued by the police or security authority in each country where the applicant has lived for 12 months or longer after the age of 18 years.
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate, if applicable
  • A contract of employment with the company abroad, valid for a period of not less than six months
  • A letter from the company abroad confirming that the foreigner shall be transferred to a branch, subsidiary or affiliate of that company in South Africa
  • A letter from the branch, subsidiary or affiliate in South Africa confirming the transfer of the foreigner and specifying the occupation and capacity in which that foreigner shall be employed.
  • An undertaking by the relevant employer that:
    • The candidate will only be employed in the specific position for which the visa has been issued;
    • The candidate will at all times comply with the provisions of the Act and conditions of his or her visa and undertakes to immediately notify the Director-General if the employee refuses to comply with the provisions of the Act or conditions of the visa; and
    • A plan is developed for the transfer of skills to a South African citizen or permanent resident.
  • An undertaking by the relevant employer to cover the cost of any potential deportation from South Africa
  • Proof of payment of the application fees

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) Enrol your biometrics (fingerprints and photos) 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. 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 Intra-Company Transfer Visa for South Africa or any other immigration matter, contact our Immigration Lawyers on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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