South Africa Work Visa

Applying for a South African work permit allows a foreign national to emigrate temporarily to take up an offer of employment – the key component in this primarily employer-led process. There are four Work-Permit categories, each with their own requirements.

Migrating to South Africa 

As specialist immigration consultants, Brighter Candidates can call upon our South Africa immigration-lawyer expertise to help you navigate through the visa options. 

Visa Benefits

South African visas fall into two categories – temporary residence permits, or permanent residence permits.

Whilst the latter category is devoted to permanent immigration via business/family-based routes, the temporary group includes Work Permits, Study Visas and Visitor Visas.

Work Permits allow applicants to live and work in South Africa for an agreed period, subject to the job-offer requirement. However, whilst temporary visas are not designated permanent-residency routes, with the exception of Intra-Company Transfers, their validity is extendable.

A Work Permit is initially valid for up to one year, but provided the application is timely, can be extended if the position of employment is still viable.

Visa Eligibility

Work permits are issued either as a general Work Permit; in accordance with a quota system, or on grounds of exceptional ability.

General work permits require a specific job offer to be in place prior to application.

The application process is employer-led and the prospective employer must also demonstrate that the position has been advertised, and that no local candidate could be found. In addition, applications must confirm the prospective candidate has the skills and experience to fulfil the position.

In detail, applications in this category must demonstrate that:

  •  An advertisement has featured in print media;
  •  Domestic applicants did apply, but were unsuitable;
  •  The salary is consistent with current South African levels of remuneration.


The quota system allows candidates in skill-shortage professions to apply for temporary residence without the 'job offer' restriction.

Quota Work Permits are popular because the waiver on the job requirement means employers do not need to advertise before employing a foreign national.

However, applications must still demonstrate the applicant has appropriate skills and five years' relevant experience.

Importantly, successful candidates must confirm employment has been secured within 3months (90 days) of issue of their permit.

The professions in which quotas operate, and the places allocated, are subject to change. 

Exceptional Skills 

Verification of exceptional ability by a reputable body is essential, and must accompany all applications.

Each case will be assessed upon its merits and the claimed ability must prove consistent with this route. 

The final work permit open to foreign nationals is the Intra-Company Transfer. This allows employees to transfer between South African- and foreign branches of a company to engage in a specific temporary position.


Though Work Visas are not a pathway to permanent resident status, candidates may extend their permits or ultimately apply for a permanent residence permit. Consequently, applicants may relocate to South Africa for a period of several years, and thus spouse and dependent immigration is permitted.

February 12, 2015

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Welcome to Brighter Visas, we have immigration experts based in our offices world wide.

Since 1996 we have protected peoples rights and won Immigration cases, securing visas for our clients world wide. We believe we are now the largest and most successful Immigration and visa firm in the world. Servicing both individuals and business needs. We hope you find our site full of helpful advice from our Immigration and visa experts. Brighter Visas employs qualified solicitors, accredited immigration consultants and ex-immigration officers to help our clients win their case, guaranteeing our rate of success continues to be excellent with the highest levels of service.

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My experience with Brighter Visas has been wonderful so far. From the day of my assessment to the day of my application to the day of searching for employment, everything has been very smooth. My consultant, Mr. Luke, has been very helpful and accommodating with all my inquiries and needs. He's always available whenever I have questions or when I'm in need of his assistance. He calls me from time-to-time to update me of my case and assures me that everything is going well, which is why I never worry of my application because I'm confident that I am in good hands and in a good team. Brighter Visas also sends e-news letters, which give me more options and knowledge of the employment in my desired country.

I have already recommended Brighter Visas to my friends and would recommend it to my colleagues.

Thank You, Brighter Visas!


The whole experience of using Brighter Visas was very professional and dealt with extremely efficiently, from initial enquiries with Chetan to structuring the application and final outcome with Simin.

I would recommend Brighter to anyone looking to immigrate and in need of an agent.

Many thanks for a pleasant service and great outcome.


The immigration consultant was very knowlegeable and provided me with a regular update on my case. I never imagined it was for real until i got an email that my green card has been approved. At this point, i am more than willingly to recommend Brighter Visas to friends and family members since they truly are the best in rendering professisonal immigration services to people world over.


It is difficult to explain how good it felt when my visa was approved.  Years of dreaming about living overseas out of the smoke.  Then applying to make the move before I got too old with my whole family was so stressful and exciting but also I was very anxious.  I just want to say thanks to the whole team for my visa but most of all for giving me months of free therapy when I needed a little reassurance I was doing the right thing.  

I love my new life and my kids are doing so well in School it is just amazing.