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General Work Permit

Time Processing Time in South Africa: 30-40 days
Processing Time if lodged abroad: 30 days
Dollar Currency Sign2 Government Fee in South Africa: R1520
New Submission Centre Fee ( in SA ): R1350
Government Fee abroad: Dependent on Currency
Appform Application Form when submitting abroad: Click here
Application Form when submitting in SA: Done Online

Applying for a General Work Permit

General Work Permit (1)

When a foreign national applies for a work visa in South Africa the most common route to follow is that of applying for a South African general work permit. This permit allows the bearer to work in South Africa for an extended period and falls under the temporary residency visa stream.

What are the main requirements to qualify for a General Work Permit?

• Advertisement placed in a national newspaper
• All foreign qualifications evaluated by SAQA
• Obtain a recommendation letter from the Department of Labour
• Applicant must have an existing employment offer


How to prove that the position cannot be filled by a South African national?

The employer will have to prove that no suitable candidate could be found even though the position was advertised. This will serve to prove to the department of home affairs that the position cannot be filled by local available talent.

Why Should I obtain a recommendation letter from the Department of Labour?

As of 28th May 2014, the Department of Home Affairs has decided to enforce stringent measures with South African employers employing foreign staff members. The Department of Labour has now been recruited to further scrutinize your application in proving that all attempts has been exhausted to first find a local SA Citizen or permanent resident. The Department of Labour will conduct an on-site inspection at your designated work place to verify that your prospective employer is complying with all labour laws.

According to the Department of Labour, they are currently committed to processing your application within 30 days, but in our experiences applications are taking about 2 months to be processed before sending your recommendation letter to DHA.

1. Read more about the new labour requirements for a General Work Visa.
2. View first-hand information about a site visit done by the Department of Labour at one of our existing client's work premises. 

How long does processing this visa take?

Although the South African department of home affairs are committed to processing an application within 30 days, it is more realistic to expect the visa to be processed within 2 to 3 months from the time of lodgement.

Using New World Immigration will ensure that you stand the best chance of securing your General Work Permit in the quickest possible time frame.

Co-ordinating all the 3rd party processes like Salary Benchmarking / Department of Labour Certificate, the placement of the advertisement, your SAQA certificate is important. Running processes parallel to one another is critical and a case manager assigned to your case will make this happen in a seamless fashion.

What about applying for permanent residency?

If a foreign national has held a general work visa for 5 years, they may apply for South African permanent residency. It is however vital that the applicant is aware of the fact that an application for permanent residency does not constitute the right to remain in the country after your work visa has expired.

This means that the applicant must submit both a renewal of their general work visa and application for permanent residency before the current work visa expires.

The processing times for permanent residency is roughly between 8 months – 1.5 years according to DHA.

Do I need formal qualifications?

It would certainly help if the candidate does hold a formal qualification! The department of home affairs might ask that the qualifications be assessed in terms of its authenticity, what the qualification involves and if it is relevant to the position applied for.

Must the applicant be in possession of a valid contract of employment?

In the case where a migrant employee applies for a General Work Visa, they would have to be in possession of a valid job offer.

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