When a multi-national company has a need for a foreign employee to transfer to a branch, subsidiary or affiliate in South Africa, the employee can apply for a South African intra-company transfer work visa to do so.
What is allowed under an intra-company transfer work visa?
As described above, foreign nationals who hold an intra-company transfer work visa can transfer to a South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary of their company, where they can perform work duties as needed by the company and set out in the visa.
What are the main criteria of a South African intra-company visa?
The main criteria for an intra-company transfer work visa is that the South African company is a branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the company the transfer is from.
Other criteria that must be met are responsibilities of the South African company and the company abroad.
The South African company must confirm:
- Acceptance of the transfer of the employee.
- That the employee will only be employed in the specific occupation and capacity for which the visa was granted.
- That the foreign employee will at all times comply with the provisions of the Act and conditions of their visa.
- That they undertake to immediately notify the Director-General if the employee does not comply with the provisions of the Act or the conditions of their visa.
In addition to the above, the South African company must undertake to ensure that the foreign employee holds a valid passport for the duration of their employment. The company must also demonstrate that they have an appropriate plan in place for the transfer of skills from the intra-company work visa holder to a South African citizen or permanent resident.
Should deportation ever become necessary during the duration of employment, the South African company must be aware that they will born any deportation costs of the employee and their dependent family members.
As for the company abroad, it would be necessary for them to demonstrate the following:
- That the employee’s contract of employment (with the company abroad) is valid for a period of not less than 6 months.
- Confirmation that the applicant will be transferred to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate in South Africa.
- That the employee will not be staying in South Africa for more than 4 years.
The intra-company transfer work visa is valid for up to 4 years. It cannot be extended for longer, as the Department of Home Affairs considers an intra-company transfer work visa a temporary employment solution.
Due to the reasoning of the Department of Home Affairs as set out above, no application can be made for permanent residency under an intra-company transfer work visa.
That said, applications for permanent residency can be made by foreign nationals who have held a work visa for 5 years and the period held on an intra-company transfer work visa will count towards this 5-year period.
Therefore if a foreign national has previously held, or subsequently holds, another type of South African work visa for 12 months or more, this combined with the 4 years on an intra-company transfer work visa would allow for a permanent residency application.
Find out if you qualify for a South African intra-company transfer work visa
To see if you meet all the requirements of a South African intra-company transfer work visa, complete our quick online assessment. Once we have all your details, a consultant will contact you to discuss your eligibility.
The alternative is to call us in Cape Town on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or on +27 (0) 11 234 4275 for Johannesburg. To get us to call you instead, simply request a free call back.
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