Foreign entrepreneurs are invited to explore a variety of visas and permits that have been designed very specifically to assist with entrepreneurial spirit and economic growth in South Africa. One of these permits is the South African Business Visa. This is issued to foreigners who intend to establish or invest in a business in South Africa, usually in which they may be employed or generate personal income from too. This can manifest across a wide range of industries and sectors in the economy.

South African Business Visa Requirements

There are a number of important things to consider when it comes to the South African immigration rules and visa application processes. For example, as an applicant for the South African Business Visa, you will be required to invest a prescribed financial capital contribution. However, this could also be reduced or even waived with respect to the following industries:

  • Information & communication technology
  • Clothing & textile manufacturing
  • Chemicals & bio-technology
  • Metals & minerals refinement
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Agro-processing
  • Tourism
  • Crafts

Working Visa vs Business Visa in South Africa

If you want to work in South Africa and reside in beautiful cities like Cape Town, then there are several types of temporary work visas available. These vary depending on what your job situation in South Africa will be. For example, general employment, inter-company transfer, highly skilled migrant or business entrepreneur. There are clear differences between working visas and a business visa to note:  

  • Business visas: are issued to any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident in South Africa, who wants to immigrate to the country to open a business or invest in an existing enterprise. 
  • Working visas: or “working permits” are issued to any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident in South Africa, who wishes to work in the country.
  • Critical skills working visas: are provided to any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident in South Africa, who has qualifications for any of the skills listed on the DHA’s critical skills list.
  • Intra-company transfer visas: are provided to any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident in South Africa who works in a multinational company and is to be transferred into the country.
  • Corporate visas: are issued to an employing company to certify the employing of a number of foreign workers during a certain time period.

Why Immigrate to South Africa?

Moving to South Africa and living in the city of Cape Town offers you the chance to live and work in one of the most exciting and culturally diverse destinations in the world. From the pristine beaches along the Atlantic Seaboard to the energetic nightlife of the CBD; the deserts of the Karoo to the lavish, green Cape Winelands. One day you may be cage-diving with Great White sharks in False Bay, the following you could be enjoying a traditional braai with a bottle of Pinotage in the Boland.

The benefits of South African immigration truly are as plentiful as Cape Town is diverse. With so many visa options available, immigrating to South Africa has also become more straightforward. If your intention is to work, retire, study, accompany a spouse or life partner, or operate your own business, the South African Immigration Act can accommodate all of these intentions.

South Africa Business Visa Processing Time

Each of these types of visas run on its own timeline and those with multiple role-players involved in the authorisation process may take longer than other visas. You can expect to wait up to a year for general work visas, again up to a year for critical skills visas (especially if you have to register with statutory bodies) and up to 8 months for business visas.

In general, you should apply for immigration to South Africa while in your country of residence, and await the outcome of your application before proceeding to South Africa. In this instance, you should apply at your nearest South African office abroad. However, you may also apply for immigration while legally in South Africa – at your nearest Home Affairs provincial office.

Contact us today for detailed information about how to set up your business with visa and immigration services in Cape Town. Our friendly, knowledgeable team will assist with everything you will need. You can also visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more details.

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