In May 2014, new immigration regulations came into effect in South Africa. These regulations introduced a lot of change to the immigration industry. One of the more significant changes was the repealment of the quota work permit.
How does this affect you?
Employees who are still on quota work permits won’t be able to renew their permits. To keep these employees with the company, you’ll have to start looking at alternative work visas.
We urge you to do this sooner rather than later. Your alternative visas could take up to a year to finalise!
What are your options?
The quota work permit was open to skilled migrants and migrants with many years of experience in their field.
In 2014 the critical skills visa was introduced and it also is open to skilled migrants, with the right qualifications and in occupations that are considered ‘scarce’.
The good news is thus that a critical skills visa might be an option for many quota work permit holders.
As the employer, you won’t have to extend a formal job offer before an application can be made for the critical skills visa. Some registrations are known to take between 6 months and a year to finalise, so the application won’t be without frustration.
Alternatively, a general work visa could be explored as an option. A general work visa application involves a lot of work for the employer and employee, and the Department of Home Affairs as well as the Department of Labour are involved. From start to finish, you can expect to wait up to a year for a general work visa to be finalised.
The best way forward
To discuss your options with an immigration expert, why don’t you call us and speak to one of our immigration consultants?
You do not want to be in a position where you are employing a migrant illegally. You also don’t want to lose a valuable employee or keep them out of the office for longer than necessary.
The Cape Town team is available on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 and the Johannesburg team can be reached at +21 (0) 11 234 4275. Alternatively, send us a call back request and one of our immigration consultants will contact you instead.
Remember – it could take up to a year to finalise a South African work visa, so contact us sooner rather than later!