Applying for a General Work Visa in South Africa


Applying for a South African General Work Visa can be a cumbersome process for both the employee and employer. The employer will not only need to justify why the candidate is suitable for the role but they will also be required to prove that there are few – or no – South African candidates who possess the relevant skills to perform the job. Most often this can be done via a letter submitted to the South African Department of Labour but supporting documentation will be required on application.

What you need to know:

A South African Work Visa is not easily granted and applicants should consider alternative South African work permits before opting for this visa.

What you need to have:

  • A duly completed online form.
  • A passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of intended visit.
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate. 
  • An Original Police clearance certificate issued by the police or security authority for each country you have resided in for 12 months or longer since the age of 18 (the certificate cannot be older than six months).
  • A medical report, not older than 6 months on the day of submission.
  • A radiological report, not older than 6 months on the day of submission.
  • A marriage certificate or proof of official recognition in the country where you were married.
  • If married to a South African citizen or resident, an affidavit of marriage, as well as documentation proving cohabitation and shared financial responsibilities.
  • If divorced, an official document to show proof of status.
  • If widowed, a death certificate of late spouse.
  • If separated, an official document to show proof of separation.
  • A letter or written undertaking by your employer accepting responsibility for the costs related to the deportation of you and your dependent family members should it become necessary.
  • A letter or written undertaking by your employer to ensure that your passport is valid at all times for the duration of your employment
  • A certificate by the Department of Labour confirming that:
    • despite diligent search, the prospective employer has been unable to find a suitable citizen or permanent resident with qualifications or skills and experience equivalent to yours;
    • your qualifications or proven skills and experience are in line with the job offer;
    • your salary and benefits are not inferior to the average salary and benefits of citizens or employees occupying similar positions in South Africa;
    • a contract of employment stipulating the conditions of employment and signed by both you and the employer and are in line with the labour standards in the Republic and is made conditional upon the general work visa being approved;
  • Proof of qualifications evaluated by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) and if any degrees are not in English, that they are translated by a sworn translator. 
  • Full particulars of your employer, including proof of registration of the business with the Commission on Intellectual Property and Companies (CIPC).
  • A letter or written undertaking by your employer to inform the Director-General if you are no longer employed by the employer or if you are employed in a different capacity or role.
  • Proof of payment of the applicable fee.