South African Work Permits

There are various categories of work visas for South Africa, which vary in duration from one to five years.


  • Critical Skills Visa
  • General Work Visa
  • Intra-Company Transfer  Work Visa


Whether you hold a critical skill is based on your academic and professional background, which is confirmed by a SAQA accredited professional body.

critical skills VISAA critical skills visa can be obtained for one year if you do not have a job offer in place – and for up to five years if you have secured employment. If an applicant secures employment, the critical skills visa is linked to an employer and position.

Depending on your status in the South Africa, you may be able to apply from within the country. However, if you are a first-time applicant it is likely you will need to apply from your country of residence.


The general work visa is suitable for a candidate where a South African citizen or permanent resident cannot be found to fill a position which has been advertised in the national media. Additionally, the employee, with the assistance of the employer, must receive confirmation by the Department of Labour that there is not a South African citizen or permanent resident who can fulfil the position. This requires a site visit to the potential place of employment, copies of CVs of the rejected applicants with explanations as to why they are not suitable to the job and an additional advertisement on the ESSA database.


An intra-company transfer work visa is issued to a foreigner who is seconded to a South African branch, subsidiary or associate office of a corporate entity abroad where they have worked six months or longer. It is a visa which is entitled for a foreign trained person to transfer their skills and expertise to a South African work force.

An intra-company visa is valid for a period of up to four years and is non-renewable.