Business Visa For South Africa
A business visa in South Africa is designed for foreign applicants who wish to invest into:
- An existing business, or
- a new business.
It affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to enter and stay in South Africa and to run their own business. Below we look at some of the more salient highlights of the business visa and provide you with the opportunity to explore these points in more detail.
Background to the business visa
In June of 2014 new regulations were published by the Department of Home Affairs which saw some sweeping changes to certain permit and visa categories.
The business visa was one of these categories.
The new regulations come from a framework of both protecting opportunities for locals, whilst encouraging business people who will add value to the South African economy and community.
As such various government bodies and stakeholders had input into the new business visa criteria resulting in an increase in the minimum investment amount, waiver opportunities to decrease this and the securing of positions for South Africans within the business.
Who can apply for a business visa
A business visa in South Africa can be applied for by those seeking temporary and /or permanent residency in the Republic who wish to set up and run their own business. The business can be a start up, a purchased company or a partnership.
Please note if you are a corporate seeking to expand your operations into South Africa, a business visa is probably not the correct route. Rather you should view our information here on setting up an external company or branch.
What is the eligibility criteria?
Qualifying for a business visa can be broken down into 2 areas, the applicants themselves and their good standing and the proposed business. Below we look at the eligibility of the business.
- Investment into the business – There is a minimum investment into the business required of ZAR 5 million. This amount can be reduced with a waiver application for certain businesses.
- Creation of jobs – The South African business visa is designed to encourage the creation of jobs and as such the business visa holder must employ 60% of its workforce from South African labour
- Contribution to South Africa and good standing – When making an application for a business visa you will be required to make various registrations, these are designed to ensure compliance with tax and workers obligations that you will incur.
- Desirable or Undesirable – A business visa application will not be successful if the proposed business is of an undesirable nature
Where to start?
- Before committing to the business visa route you should also review your options, this may not be the best way, although it is the most obvious one, for you to proceed.Please read through our article on Starting a business as a foreigner/ to review your options or contact us.
- Ensure you are eligible for a business visa. The application process is complex and time consuming with very specific criteria. Proceeding with an application without professional guidance may well result in wasted time, effort and money.
When to start?
Allow yourself ample time. Once the best route has been decided successful applications take time to compile properly. Various government departments are involved and structures and plans need to be formed. We recommend a period of at least 6 months prior to the date you wish to move.
Commencing any business is a detailed and complex process, but when establishing a business in a foreign country the process becomes all the more complex. At Intergate we understand that setting up a business in South Africa means you need to be given expert, qualified and comprehensive advice that enables you to make the right decisions.
We also understand that your business, is in business, to be successful and it requires your time and effort to make this happen.
That’s why we are here you can leave the time consuming process of a business visa application to us. We make the process as smooth and hassle free as possible. We have assisted hundreds of clients since our inception in 2003 and are rightly proud of our reputation as the go-to immigration company for obtaining your business visa in South Africa.
Getting help with your visa or permit application
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.