This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in South Africa. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

  • Attending training, interviews, business meetings or discussions;
  • Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings;
  • All other activities must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Type of Business Visas
– Certain nationals may enter South Africa without need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals).   All other nationals will require a visitor’s visa for business purposes.

However, visa-exempt nationals will be required to submit an electronic request for travel authorization and receive travel authorization from the South African Department of Home Affairs prior to entering South Africa as a business visitor.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment, nor establish any employment relationship with the South African host company;
2. Valid passport;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to South Africa;
4. No intention to permanently reside in South Africa;
5. A ticket for onward travel from South Africa.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to South Africa for up to three months. Duration of stay, multi-entry status and ability to extend business status will be on a highly-discretionary basis.

Typical Documents Required
All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
  • a valid visa or authority to enter South Africa.