FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT IMMIGRATION
Moving permanently to a foreign country is a big step. We have listed some of the questions we are regularly asked by international visitors, as well as the answers.
Does Visa One offer an initial free consultation?
There are no consultation fees for internet, email and telephone enquiries received from persons or potential clients. Although, to formally consult and clarify visa and permit options for initiating application processes, a standard and basic consultation fee will apply.
How do I apply for permanent residence?
There are various routes to obtain permanent residence in South Africa. Your route of application and the requirements you’ll have to meet depend on the category of application and temporary residence status (if applicable) at the time.
It is also possible to apply for permanent residence status for and in South Africa directly from abroad.
What is the difference between a work visa and a business visa?
A work visa can be issued in any of the following circumstances:
- Critical skills work visa: your occupation and qualification should be on South Africa’s critical skills list.
- General work visa: You need a written job offer and the employer must be able to prove (by a Department of Labour recommendation letter) that they couldn’t find a South African citizen or permanent resident for the position.
- Intra-company transfer work visa: The South African company must be a subsidiary, branch, affiliate or business associate of the overseas company.
- Corporate worker’s visa: This visa enables South African employers to employ many employees from abroad, all under one application. If the employer’s application is successful, you may apply for an individual corporate worker’s visa.
A business visa is issued if you are able to invest at least R5 million in your business and employ South Africans to comprise at least 60% of your workforce. You’ll need to submit a business plan and set up the business in a suitable company structure and business environment.
How can I get a work visa in South Africa?
It is not possible to change from a visitor’s visa to a work visa while in South Africa, so you’ll need to apply from your home country. However, if you are in South Africa with a visa that gives you other purposes of extended temporary residence (apart from visiting), you may be able to change to a work visa from within South Africa.
What is the definition of a 'spouse' in terms of immigration prescripts and what are the requirements for a life partner to stay in South Africa?
From immigration prescripts, spouses are defined as married persons or life partners and/or parties to a permanent spousal relationship.
The permanent relationship of life partners should be for longer than two years and needs to be substantiated by co-habitation and sharing of financial responsibility documentation, which are to be submitted with your application.
How do I get a South African visa?
Some visitor’s visas for certain (exempted) passport holders are issued on arrival in South Africa.
If not passport exempted for entry visas, holiday visitor’s visas should be applied for from abroad.
Extended visas can be applied for from abroad and some visas can be renewed / extended / changed from within South Africa, for which applicants need to comply with particular requirements.
How do I apply for South African citizenship?
Citizenship can be applied for by birth right or after five years as a permanent resident in South Africa. You’ll need to proceed with your citizenship application with the Department of Home Affairs when Immigration Services has verified your permanent residence status.
Can I be represented by a third party in my application, document preparation and submission?
This all depends on your personal situation or circumstances. We will be able to advise once we know about the context of your application.
Although applicants are required to submit visa and permit applications in person from immigration prescripts, applicants can be assisted in the preparing of application documents, details and the submission process.
Depending on the situation, circumstances and departmental procedures of certain applications, third parties can assist and represent applicants in enquiring about applications and finalising (collection of) application outcomes.
Do I need to depart from South Africa to renew or validate my visa status?
Certain types of visas can be renewed or extended from here in South Africa.
Departing from South Africa to one of our neighbouring countries for validation on the expiry of a holiday visitors’ visas is not allowed.
What are the visa requirements for Angolan, Lesotho and Zimbabwean foreign nationals to reside and work in South Africa?
Over the past ten years many Angolan, Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals resided, studied and worked in terms of a special dispensation in South Africa.
If foreign nationals from these countries are not part of the special dispensation, they need to apply for temporary residence status from immigration prescripts and requirements.
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Please feel free to ask us!
We are experienced in immigration matters. Contact us for advice and assistance!
We comply with the Immigration Act and related regulation in South Africa. Our consultancy services are unavailable through government channels. The application forms used during the immigration process can also be collected free of charge at any relevant immigration office.
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