The Department of Home Affairs restricts short-term work to 180-days per calendar year

Foreign nationals who are required to conduct short-term work in South Africa in circumstances which do not necessitate applying for one of the available categories of work visa require a Visitor’s Visa (issued in terms of Section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 (as amended) (“Act”)) with an authorisation to conduct work endorsed thereon in terms of Section 11(2) of the Act (“Visitor’s Visa 11(2)”).

How the proposed critical skills visa list could impact SA tech companies

According to Reuters, a proposed reduction to the South African critical skills visa list threatens the prospects of those hoping to immigrate to South Africa for work purposes, and also jeopardises the livelihoods of many immigrants currently working in South Africa.

The proposed version of the critical skills visa list would drastically reduce the number of skills that could qualify immigrants for a working visa.

Occupations in high demand <-> critical skills list

Comparison of occupations in high demand in 2014 and 2018:

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Comparison of the occupations in high demand in 2014 and the critical skill list of 2014

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Comparison of the critical skills from 2014 and the occupations in high demand of 2018

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Comparison Occupations in High demand 2018 and critical skills list from 2018

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Comparison of the critical skills from 2014 and the critical skills from 2018

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Major immigration law changes to hit South Africa hard: expert

Ahead of the implementation of new immigration laws and the release of a severely shortened critical skills list, South Africa’s Home Affairs Department appears to be pre-emptively clamping down on immigration and undermining efforts to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI). This is according to expert immigration lawyers, who noted that a new Bill on International Migration is expected to be available for comment in March 2019, and a new critical skills list intended to be implemented in April 2019.

Statement by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Malusi Gigaba MP, at the Media Briefing on Visa-related Reforms in Pretoria on 25 September 2018

Amendments to the current immigration regulations are in line with the October 2015 recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Immigration Regulations, which was led by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his previous capacity, as Deputy President of the Republic. 

Tears of joy after court rules against Home Affairs

There were tears of joy as the High Court in Cape Town set aside a decision by the Department of Home Affairs to refuse a stateless family's application for citizenship.

The Mulowayi family of Kensington, Johannesburg, finally found relief on Tuesday after a protected battle with the department which had refused their application for citizenship on what has now been determined to be wrongful grounds.

Important changes to Permanent Residence immigration legislation

The South African Government has recently published its long expected White Paper on International Migration which provides a policy framework for comprehensive review and overhaul of South Africa’s immigration system and the introduction of significant changes over the next two years. Amongst the most drastic of the proposed changes is the decision to replace permanent residency with a revisable – and revocable - long-term visa. 

Why It's Important To Use Immigration Consultants When Immigrating To South Africa

Because immigration consultants are educated in the different laws and regulations revolving around the immigration process, they are well-equipped to assist prospective residents of South Africa in understanding the often challenging and overwhelming road to immigration. 

Immigrants getting into the course of integrating into South Africa with no immigration consultant are prone to put up with a lengthy, demanding and disheartening process as they attempt to navigate through the tons and tons of paperwork and regulations, frequently costing heaps of money and ending with them back where they started.

Maybe you have considered the reason why an immigration consultant is so important when it comes to immigration. If not, below are some reasons why they are critical in the whole process.

Strict visa rules
Visa processes are getting more involved and complicated all over the world. The laws are getting more stringent with each year and off-course you need to follow all the rules and regulations to the point, set by that country.

Changes in Immigration Rules
Not every person is conscious of the immigration rules. Governments continue altering the immigration rules, which can create issues for you as an applicant. Individuals should follow the immigration guidelines correctly because if they don't, they will make costly mistakes on their visa application, and because of those mistakes they might not get approval.

Departing your country with a desire to create a new life on foreign soil isn’t as simple as it appears.  It requires not only a strong will and loads of patience but also proper knowledge and a clear comprehension of the legal procedures. So when you intend to carry out a matter as intricate as immigration smoothly and flawlessly, you will need to get some professional help. 

Consider it an investment, not a one-off fee
Think of the cost as an investment in your new life, rather than a price paid in return for a service. Hiring an immigration consultant will not only save you time but money as well since you'll be able to do the application right the first time.

At Black Pen Immigration we pride ourselves on seeing our clients succeed in starting a new life in South Africa. Our service to our clients is unmatched, and we can guarantee world-class service.

South African Public Holidays And The Reason We Celebrate Them

When Apartheid ended, and the ANC under Nelson Mandela came into power in South Africa in 1994, the country's national holidays were altered to be significant to all South Africans.


The Bill of Rights included in the national Constitution is the foundation of democracy in South Africa. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) started from the Constitution, seeking to promote respect, protection, advancement and achievement of human rights for everyone residing in South Africa, and also to keep track of and evaluate the observance of these rights.

On 21 March 1996, 35 years following the fateful events of 21 March 1960 when protesters in Sharpeville was gunned down by law enforcement, the SAHRC was introduced.


Freedom Day celebrates the very first democratic elections held in South Africa on April 27, 1994. An election whereby all adults had the right to vote regardless of their race, and also the day when the new constitution was implemented.


Youth Day remembers the protest of 20 000 students in Soweto on 16 June 1976. These learners protested against the complete program of Bantu education in the Apartheid era, that was characterised by individual schools and educational facilities, overloaded classrooms and improperly educated teachers.


A group of women took part in a nationwide march on 9 August 1956, to petition in opposition to pass laws. National Women's Day remembers these events.


Nelson Mandela used the expression "rainbow nation"  when referring to South Africa's different cultures, traditions, practices, backgrounds, and languages. This day is a celebration of this diversity.


Before apartheid ended in South Africa, 16 December was referred to as Day of the Vow. While preparing for a battle on 16 December opposed to the Zulus, the Voortrekkers took a vow before God. They promised that, if they win the battle, they would build a church and that their descendants would recognise the day as a day of thanksgiving.

This day kept its status as a public holiday, but on the grounds for promoting reconciliation and national unity.


Formerly referred to as Boxing Day, the Day of Goodwill was renamed to eliminate connections to South Africa's colonial past, and also to be inclusive of each and every South Africans. The day is intended for the sharing of festive cheer and goodwill.



Reap The Benefits Of Immigration To South Africa By Finding A Job That's On The Critical Skills List

Being a nation with an expanding economy and a growing manufacturing industry, South Africa needs a large amount of skilled workers in several positions. Due to this, a lot of foreigners work in South Africa. Any individual who isn't a citizen of South Africa and who wants to work in the country has to make application for a Work Visa.

Download the Critical Skills list here. (Scroll down in the document to find the list).

Some skills and qualifications are considered to be remarkable by the South African government. A person with such skills and qualifications may receive a Critical Skills Work Visa. To get this visa, the applicant does not have to secure an offer of employment at the time of application. The legislation doesn't stipulate exactly what qualifies as remarkable, but a relevant South African company has to verify the applicant’s skills and qualifications in black and white. The Critical Skills Work Visa is valid for a maximum duration of 36 months, and an extension may be possible.

If you have a doctorate and are considered an expert in a field, plus you have published articles, this can support your application.

Critical Skills Work Visa

Critical skills assist South Africa’s economy. Work visas are not as complicated as they seem, and unfortunately, this is not realised by most businesses. If you have an employment offer and are stuck with your future employer on this point, offer to organise one of our immigration lawyers or specialists to call or meet with the company for a free consultation. They can ease any fears that the corporation may have. Firms are short-sighted, desiring only to employ a person that can start within one month’s time and who they can meet right away. Have patience when dealing with a possible employer and indicate to them the specifics of your suggested visa.

Permanent Residence

You can apply for Permanent Residence by holding a General Work Visa. Anyone who has held a General Work visa for at least five years is able to apply for Permanent Residence. You can apply straight away if you hold a critical skills work visa. It is to the applicant’s benefit to be in possession of a legal contract of permanent employment, or perhaps an offer of permanent employment, at the time of application.

Contact Black Pen Immigration to assist you with your Critical Skills Work Visa.


Everything You Need To Know About Starting A Business In South Africa As A Foreigner

Starting a company as a foreigner in South Africa can be a daunting task without securing professional help.

At Black Pen Immigration we have helped numerous entrepreneurs with their aspirations to establish a business in South Africa. Before you spend time and money, you should look at the requirements and visa options available.

There are two visa types you can apply for:

Business visa:
This category is almost always recommended for anybody starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa.

Independent Financial Permit:
An extremely underused permit category that enables the holder to start a business, but additionally provides some other advantages above the regular business visa route.

Business visas are suitable for people wanting to invest in a business, or an existing startup, and who'll be functioning within the business.

The Independent Financial skills permit isn't limited to a particular economic activity. It allows the visa holder complete flexibility to invest in a business, whether or not they will be working in it.

A business can be owned and operated with 100% foreign ownership. Nonetheless, for those that have a local partner, this is also good. This is applicable to both of the abovementioned visas.

For business visa holders you need to invest R5 million into the business should you not be eligible for a waiver. 

It isn't a requirement for the holder of the Financially Independent permit to invest any specific amount into a business. They are free to invest any amount they want. To successfully obtain a Financially Independent permit, you'll have to demonstrate a net worth of R12 million; however, these funds are not required to be brought into South Africa.

There is, however, a condition that workers are no less than 60% South Africans. They must be permanently employed if you hold a business visa. This is not a condition for the Independent Financial permit holder.

If you start a business in South Africa using the business visa, you would first need to obtain temporary residency. Once you have temp residency, you can apply for permanent residency. 

If you choose to go the Independent Financial permit route, you may only apply for permanent residency. This is a great option but could take longer to process the visa.

There is no better company to assist than Black Pen Immigration when it comes to starting a business as a foreign national in South Africa. Our services don't only focus on the appropriate visa or permit but provide a combination of skills; company structures, tax, investor business plans, insurance and much more.

To contact any of our experts, please give us a call.

What you need to know about the South African Spousal Visa

When the husband or wife of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder wishes to immigrate to our country, they can apply for a spousal visa or permit. Various documents and supporting evidence would need to be supplied as with any other visa application. Here are some things you should know about SA spousal visas:

  1. South Africa is known to be a highly progressive country since they recognise same-sex couples while affording them the same rights as heterosexual couples. In both scenarios, a spouse can apply for such a visa.
  2. A spousal visa is a temporary residency visa issued to foreign nationals for 24 - 36 months if they can prove to be in a committed relationship with a South African national. It is highly advisable to start the visa renewal process well before it expires to ensure you can legally live and work in South Africa.
  3. A spousal permit is for per permanent residency that allows for an indefinite stay in South Africa.  
  4. In order to apply for a spousal visa, the couple will have to prove their relationship is older than two years. The most straightforward way of doing this is to submit a valid marriage certificate or proof of registration of the union.
  5. If you wish to work or study or conduct business while in South Africa on a spousal visa/permit, you will need to apply for working rights or study rights to be added to your visa. You can't, however, apply for all three. You will be limited legally to the right added on your visa application.
  6. If the relationship is less than two years or viable proof can't be given, it is advised to consult a registered immigration consultant who will be able to advise you on your options.  Generally, in a scenario like this, the application stand a high chance of being rejected.
  7. If you have been married to your South African spouse/partner for more than five years, you qualify to apply for permanent residency.
  8. Should your spouse decide to file for a divorce, you would need to apply for a different visa since your current spousal visa would become invalid.

You can speak to Speak to an immigration consultant at Black Pen Immigration, who will discuss your options based on your unique set of circumstances.

Thinking of visiting or immigrating to South Africa? Here's what you should know.

Introducing South Africa, located on the southern tip of Africa where two oceans meet, summer lasts most of the year, and the big five roams just beyond the metropolis.

Evident, even 80 000 years later, are our ancestors' fossilised footprints and the world's oldest rock paintings. Nowadays, South Africa is Africa's most advanced country with excellent infrastructure on par with many first-world countries and a growing economy.

Our nation is made up of almost 52 million people with different origins, languages, cultures and beliefs.  Around 79% are African, 8,9%  coloured, 8.9% caucasian, and 2.5% Indian or Asian. The remaining 0,7% classified themselves as "other" in the last census.

South Africa has 11 official languages. English is the language most widely spoken in the cities, government and business circles. Official documents and road signs are also written in English. About 40% of the population speak either Zulu or Xhosa. Another primary language in South Africa is Afrikaans. Derived from the Dutch language, Nothern Europeans might find it quite easy to follow.

South Africa was famous for Apartheid (White-minority ruling) up until 1994 when Nelson Mandela from the ANC was elected president. Since then, the country has put remarkable effort into putting the centuries of racial hatred behind them in order to reconcile the nation. Post-apartheid South Africa is often referred to as the Rainbow Nation because of the government comprising of various races.

Foreign Business
South Africa has never been more investor-friendly than now as it offers a business environment in which 100% foreign ownership is allowed. Repatriation of revenue is generous, and the exchange rate is beneficial. If you are hoping to do business anywhere in Africa, South Africa is the gateway to the continent.

South Africa is a big country in comparison to Europe. It spans over 1.2 million square kilometres.  With nine provinces, Gauteng is the smallest but also the most densely populated.  Gauteng is connected to Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga. The Nothern Cape is the biggest province but has the smallest population. The Free State is located right in the middle of the country while the coastal provinces of Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal lies to the south.

Big cities
Even though we are the proud owners of the Big Five, there's more to Africa than lions. Johannesburg and Cape Town are big cities with skyscrapers, modern amenities, multilane highways and traffic jams.

Other reasons to visit South Africa?
We offer beautiful golden beaches, world-class surfing, spectacular scenery ranging from deserts to majestic mountains, eco-system that can't be found anywhere else in the world and a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience African culture. All that combined with a favourable exchange rate makes South Africa one of the least expensive holiday destinations for international tourists.

South Africa: Heaven For The Adventurous At Heart.

Adventure holidays in South Africa is a booming market, and the business world taking notice. There’s absolutely nothing better than having a business meeting or convention followed by a selection of exciting activities to get the blood pumping. Adventure tours are a fantastic choice for business associates visiting the different provinces of South Africa.

South Africa presents over 3 000 kilometres of shoreline in addition to spectacular mountains, often side by side. The country is a  wealthy hunting terrain for adrenaline junkies because of its varied landscape, and perfect climate for outdoor activities.

South Africa offers top rated climbing, surfing, diving, hiking, horseback riding, safaris,  mountain biking, white water rafting, and just about every other extreme sport you can think of, all sustained by devoted service providers.

The cliffs in South Africa are massive, rough which guarantees for the finest, and most distinct, mountain climbing on the planet. Even though Cape Town is primarily well gifted, the action is far from restricted to this province.

River trips vary from mostly picturesque to level five white water automatic washers.  The art of kloofing (canyoning) is yet another popular activity, with both escorted and self-guided tours being offered.

You will find hundreds of well known and not so well known paragliding or hang gliding sites listed, with schools in each and every centre. There are numerous opportunities for helicopter trips, hot air balloon flights, aerobatics, skydiving and microlight flying if you're looking for something a bit higher up.

A large number of kilometres of hiking trails can be found across the country in the desert, forests,  mountains or coastal landscapes, quite a few with mountain biking paths bordering them.

You will discover excellent, comfortable horse trails through vineyards, in the mountains and on the beach and, for the more ambitious, horseback safaris are offered in big game regions.

The 216-metre Bloukrans bridge, bordering the Eastern and Western Cape, delivers the highest commercial bungee jump in the whole world. So if you're looking for a very quick high, this is an activity you'll most likely enjoy.

You can also abseil over the crashing waves in Knysna, spend time approximately one kilometre high over the beautiful Cape Town or mix it up - abseiling and canyoning on the Storms River Gorge. Alternatively, you have an option to jump from buildings in Johannesburg or Durban.

Anywhere you are in South Africa; you can expect to find an adventure opportunity waiting just for you. So finish off with the business meetings for the day and head into mother nature to clear your mind and have some serious fun.

Everything You Need To Know About The Seasons Of South Africa

South Africa is well-known for its sunshine. It is a reasonably dry nation, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm; the global average is about 860mm. Even though Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is usually a summer-rainfall area.

South African temperatures are often lower than other countries at similar latitudes. For instance, Australia, primarily because of its greater elevation above sea level. South Africa’s coastal areas have the mildest winter temperatures in the country,  but there is quite the contrast between the two different coasts. This is the result of the warm eastern Agulhas and cold western Benguela that sweep the coastlines.

South Africa's seasons are opposite to those of Europe and North America since it's located in the southern hemisphere. This means we celebrate Christmas on the beach!


Summer in South Africa tends to be hot and sunny with frequent afternoon thunderstorms that clear rapidly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African smell. It lasts from October to mid-February.

Western Cape is the exception, with its Mediterranean climate, receiving its rain in winter.


South Africa's autumn season is from mid-February to April. It offers the very best weather with very little rainfall and mild days.

In Cape Town, autumn is fantastic, with warm sunny days and mild evenings which quite a few individuals prefer to spend outdoors.


Winter in South Africa, is usually from May to July within the higher-lying locations and characterised by dry, sunny, cool days and frosty nights.

Western Cape gets the majority of its rain in winter, with quite a number of overcast days. The rainy climate can be rather stormy with strong winds. Heavy snow falls can occur over the high-lying areas in the south-western parts of Western Cape and Northern Cap

KwaZulu-Natal as well as the Lowveld, present superb winter climate with sunny, warmish days and practically no wind or rain.

The higher mountains from the Cape, as well as the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, normally get snow in winter.


There isn't a place in South Africa where spring is more striking than in the Northern Cape and Western Cape. The grey winter is quickly replaced by plains covered in smaller plants and a radiant carpet of flowers. It generally lasts from August to mid-October.

The journey to discover the flowers on the Namaqualand is an annual pilgrimage for a lot of South Africans.

South Africa offers a subtropical climate, moderated by the ocean on two of three sides and the elevation of the interior level, provides the warm, mild weather so representative of South Africa - and equally attractive to its foreign guests.

Visit Black Pen Immigration to establish which South African visa is the right one for you!

With offices based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Black Pen Immigration lawyers have been assisting thousands of people wishing to immigrate to South Africa for many years now, and with the global experience this team of German and South African lawyers bring to the table, you can rely on honest, open communication as they work on cost effective, tailor made solutions to make your dream of living or working in Cape Town a reality.

There are many different types of South African visas that are applicable to the various motivations that people may have for wanting to immigrate to South Africa, and Black Pen has made it very easy to understand with in-depth information available on their website, which also gives you the option to get a free online assessment that will go a long way to establishing what your visa requirements will be.

Among the different types of South African visas is the Corporate Visa, which is a visa a South African based company can apply for should they be required to employ a large number of foreign employees, either for limited projects or in the longer term. The benefits of having a company like Black Pen on your side as a partner in this situation means you can rely on effective and efficient management of all these aspects for your company, saving your company a lot of time and money while Black Pen deals with the red tape on your behalf.

Black Pen Immigration will also be able to provide you with all the information required to ensure that the corporate applicant meets all the requirements necessary to ensure a streamlined process where it comes to bringing in foreign language staff and critical skills staff.  The South African Immigration laws and regulations are in a constant state of change, and the team at Black Pen are always up to date with the latest information, ensuring the protection of the company and the staff members it requires visas for in order to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Visit the Black Pen website for in-depth information on this and other visa types required for immigration to South Africa, or contact their friendly team for expert advice about starting a successful visa application.